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I have articles on my website that I'm using for actual "article/blog entries." They have their own categories (News, Tech, etc.). I use these categories to show the articles in modules designed to rotate among more recent news articles, articles from a particular category, etc.

Here's my problem: When a user clicks on any article link, that article is shown using the home page's layout: the article is the central content, but all of the other modules that are on the home page are there. What I want to do is have a particular page design for all articles: it has all of the standard menus and such, but only one article is shown as the central content (along with whatever modules I'd like to be visible just on all article pages).

I've searched and searched for something like an option to tie an article category to a particular "hidden menu" module/layout (I'm familiar with that trick, but I can't find a way to make it apply here), etc. Am I missing something?

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You have to "assign" the right Itemid to the article link. You can just create a view override to fix links Itemid, or just relay on default Itemid lookup via Joomla Router.

To test the idea, you can disable SEF and manually create Urls with different Itemids to find the right menu item and show a specific template/layout.

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I always use Advanced Module Manager when I need more detailed control over my modules and when/where they are displayed.

From the publishers website:

Many publishing assignments for your modules!
You can control publishing modules by (ALL / ANY):
☆ Menu Item
☆ Homepage
☆ Date range
☆ User Group Levels
☆ Languages
☆ Templates
☆ URLs
☆ Operating Systems
☆ Browsers
☆ Components
☆ Content Page Types
☆ Categories
☆ Articles
☆ Tags
☆ ...and more...
You can also choose to mirror the assignment settings of another module!
Edit modules in modal popup windows
Give modules color labels in the module list for easy searching
Option to not show modules that have no output (handy for things like dynamic menus)

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What you need to do is duplicate the template, then use the menu assignment on each 1 of the templates and assign one to the home and the other to all other pages. Then use the modules on the home page and they will not show up on the others and you can customize that home page template to any design, color or layout you choose.

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