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Using the helper classes

Helper classes enable you to generate standard HTML elements for the back-office as well as for module configuration pages.


Therefore, you will most of the time only deal with HelperForm.

The Main Helpers

All the helper classes inherit from the Helper parent class:

  • HelperForm: used to generate an edition form for an object of type ObjectModel. Example: editing the client's profile.
  • HelperOptions: used to generate a configuration form, the values of which are stored in the configuration table. Example: the "Preferences" page.
  • HelperList: used to generate a table of elements. The elements can belong to ObjectModel-type objects, but they do not have to. Example: client list, order status list, etc.

The Helper Templates

The helpers use Smarty templates which are found in the following folder: admin/themes/default/template/helpers/name_of_the_helper/

Each template can be overloaded.

Helper Overloading

An AdminController can overload any Helper template, simply by creating a .tpl file of the same name in the folder named admin/themes/default/controllers/name_of_the_controller/helpers/name_of_the_helper/


In addition to this section, you can read how to use helpers to overload a back-office template.

Template inheritance example: adding a new type of field in a form

For the sake of this example, let's change the edition for the client's addresses. We want a field that would display the name and e-mail of the client, if these are known, or an e-mail input field otherwise.