A layout is the basic skeleton of an HTML page. Within a layout file, you might typically have a header, footer, and any other HTML code that should appear on every page that uses the layout.

For layouts, all files should be located in the application's views/layouts directory. When naming an HTML layout file, the naming convention is {layout_name}.html.php.

As an example, the default template in li3 would be found at views/layouts/default.html.php. You can also have layouts for other formats, such as XML, and you would name the file accordingly (e.g. default.xml.php).

A layout file looks like what you might typically expect of an HTML file. Below is the code for the default template that ships with li3:

<!doctype html>
   	<?= $this->html->charset() ?>
   	<title>Application > <?= $this->title() ?></title>
   	<?= $this->html->style(['debug', 'lithium']) ?>
   	<?= $this->scripts() ?>
   	<?= $this->html->link('Icon', null, ['type' => 'icon']) ?>
   <body class="app">
   	<div id="container">
   		<div id="header">
   				Powered by <?= $this->html->link('li3', '') ?>.
   		<div id="content">
   			<?= $this->content() ?>

Within the layout file, there are several familiar components. For example, in the section, you find li3's code for displaying titles, linking CSS files & JS files, setting the Charset, etc. There is a page header, and also the closing tags for body and html round out the layout file's code.

When it comes to displaying the content of the page, just include a statement to echo $this->content() in the layout wherever the content is going to be displayed.

Using a Layout

Once you have created a layout, it is just a matter of applying the layout to your views when they are rendered from the controller. This can be done from each controller method when the render() method is called as shown in the example below:

public function index() {
	return $this->render(['layout' => 'layoutName']);

If you do not specify a layout in the render call, li3 will use the default layout, which is found in views/layouts/default.html.php. You can also disable the layout altogether by setting the layout's value to false (e.g. $this->render(['layout' => false])).

Setting a Default Layout

You can also specify a default layout to be used for all methods in a controller. This is done through the use of the protected init() method. An example of how to set the default layout is shown below:

protected function _init() {
	$this->_render['layout'] = 'default';