Menu Layout Options I have created an override for com_content for the category list.

It is stored in /templates/MYTEMPLATE/html/com_content/category

It is saved as a new name, copying the Joomla! override structure that I copied after clicking into my template in the back end and then clicking "create override" on the override I wanted. This showed me the naming convention.

I can see the override if I go into Articles > Category in the backend and I can select the new override.

So I have 3 files.

  1. default-filedownloads.php
  2. default_articles-filedownloads.php
  3. default_children-filedownloads.php

The files have not changed from the core files at the moment.

At some point I could go into Menu > Main Menu > My Category List Menu Item

Then I choose options, and I could see my menu override there.

I can't see it any more and I can't understand why it disappeared.

I have also created a default-filedownload.xml file as I'm aware that can help. My override can be seen if I put these 4 files into /components/com_content/views/category/tmpl/ then I can create a new menu item.

I don't want a new menu item

How can I make something appear in a menu item, under options, where it allows me to choose a layout.

  • As a note to others, because I don't have time to write the correct answer if I know it. _articles and _children should be at the end, my code is bad.
    – Eoin
    Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


I found this in the documentation for category layouts that may be causing some of your issues.

As with component layouts, category layouts only will show if (1) they are specified for the category in the global or category parameters and (2) there is no menu item specifically for this category (for example, List Contacts in a Category, List News feeds in a Category, List Web links in a Category, Category List, Category Blog).

If there is a menu item set up for this specific category, that layout will be used instead of the alternative category layout.

I also read in the documentation that adding an .xml file of the same name will make it a Menu Item and it seems not a category override. See the section on Alternative menu Items.

There is also a mention in bold that underscores should not be used in the name of the first file, but I wonder if the hyphen you have is causing issues for you.

the file must not be named the same as the core file and must not include underscores in the name. Additionally, there should not be an XML file of the same name in this folder. (We'll discuss XML files below under Menu Item Alternative Layouts.)

I found the above in this page, https://docs.joomla.org/Layout_Overrides_in_Joomla

  • Honestly I suspected the hyphen too. But I created overrides using the Joomla! create overrides function and it had dates with hyphens in it. So they definitely are not the problem. However, for sanity, I have also removed the hyphens. It didn't change things. I've read that documentation thoroughly. I really am starting to think the option to select an alternate layout within that menu is a mistake.
    – Eoin
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 12:56
  • At some point default-filedownload.php could just be named filedownload.php as it's not technically an override any more but it's own entity. I'm 99% sure that I saw the override working though! Perhaps I should only include some of the files? I think when it was working some files were named with a hyphen and some without.
    – Eoin
    Commented Aug 24, 2019 at 12:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.