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Using helpers to overload a back-office template

Back-office template architecture

The back-office templates are stored in the admin/themes/default/template folder, but several locations can have an impact:

  • admin/themes/default/template/helpers/type_of_the_helper/: templates that are directly called by helpers if there is no template overloading.
  • admin/themes/default/template/controllers/name_of_the_controller/: templates that are directly overloaded by a controller.
  • override/controllers/admin/templates/name_of_the_controller/: overloading folder for templates that already exist in admin/themes/default/template/controllers/name_of_the_controller/



Create this test table in your MySQL database:

CREATE TABLE `ps_test` (
  `name` VARCHAR( 255 ) NOT NULL

Create this Test class:

class TestCore extends ObjectModel
     /** @var string Name */
    public $name;
     * @see ObjectModel::$definition
    public static $definition = array(
        'table' => 'test',
        'primary' => 'id_test',
        'fields' => array(
            'name' => array(
                'type' => self::TYPE_STRING, 
                'validate' => 'isGenericName', 
                'required' => true, 
                'size' => 64

Example 1: Using templates for helpers within a controller

We are going to create a controller by using the default helpers' templates.

First, we create a Test controller:

class AdminTestControllerCore extends AdminController
    public function __construct()
         $this->table = 'test';
         $this->className = 'Test';
         $this->lang = false;
        // Building the list of records stored within the "test" table
        $this->fields_list = array(
            'id_test' => array(
                'title' => $this->l('ID'),
                'align' => 'center',
                'width' => 25
            'name' => array(
                'title' => $this->l('Name'),
                'width' => 'auto'
        // This adds a multiple deletion button
        $this->bulk_actions = array(
            'delete' => array(
                'text' => $this->l('Delete selected'), 
                'confirm' => $this->l('Delete selected items?')
    // This method generates the list of results
    public function renderList()
        // Adds an Edit button for each result
        // Adds a Delete button for each result
        return parent::renderList();
    // This method generates the Add/Edit form
    public function renderForm()
        // Building the Add/Edit form
        $this->fields_form = array(
            'legend' => array(
                'title' => $this->l('Test')
            'input' => array(
                    'type' => 'text',
                    'label' => $this->l('name test:'),
                    'name' => 'name',
                    'size' => 33,
                    'required' => true,
                    'desc' => $this->l('A description'),
            'submit' => array(
                'title' => $this->l('    Save   '),
                'class' => 'button'
        return parent::renderForm();

Here is the result of the list generation (renderList() method):

Here is the result of the form generation (renderForm() method):

Example 2: Overloading a helper template

You might want something different than what the default helper template provide. Thankfully, you can overload the helps template themselves!

First, you need to create a folder in the admin/themes/default/template/controllers/ folder. Let's call it /test.
This folder name is the name of the controller without the "Admin", "Controller" and "Core" sections. For example:

  • AdminTestControllerCore -> admin/themes/default/template/controllers/test/
  • AdminTestPrestashopControllerCore -> admin/themes/default/template/controllers/test-prestashop/

You can change the name of the folder if you put this code in the constructor:

$this->tpl_folder = 'test_controller';

...or you could define a new architecture with subfolders by putting this code in the constructor:

$this->tpl_folder = 'test_controller/content';

Here is how you can overload a form's .tpl file (in admin/themes/default/template/controllers/test/helpers/form/form.tpl):

{extends file="helpers/form/form.tpl"}
{block name="other_input"}
    {if isset($ && $input.type == 'text'}
        <p style="color:red;text-align:center;">other_input block: to add other input</p>
{block name="other_fieldsets"}
    <br />
        <p style="color:red;text-align:center;">other_fieldsets block: to add other fieldsets</p>
{block name="after"}
    <br /><p style="color:red;text-align:center;">After block: to add after the form</p>
{block name=script}
    {* Add your scripts here *}
    $(document).ready(function() {

Here is the result:

Example 3: Overloading an existing template

You might want to overload a template using a controller. In this case, you just have to put the overloaded file in the following folder: override/controllers/admin/template/

For instance, let's say you want to add a message in the General Preferences page. You must have add the following file in this location: override/controllers/admin/templates/preferences/helpers/options/options.tpl

{extends file="helpers/options/options.tpl"}
{block name="after"}
    <p style="color:red;text-align:center;">Block after : add a text after the form</p>

Here is the result:


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