[Drupal Theming] How to extend the width of the content area if there are no sidebars in a Drupal theme?

| | 2 min read

If you are a Drupal developer, you should know about Drupal theming. Have you ever got a chance to build a Drupal theme completely? If you are a Drupal theme developer you might have wanted to know how to extend the content width if there are no sidebars in your Drupal themes. If you are looking for the answer to the question then read on to find out how.

The problem

In Drupal theming the most important regions will be 'header', 'footer' and a few regions for the sidebars. When we assign blocks to those regions and print those variables in the corresponding template files, the blocks gets displayed there. While creating a theme in Drupal we had to extend the content width to the full length of the theme if there are no sidebars. Initially I tried to extend it using CSS but as it was a shortcut it did not turn out well.

The solution

While digging a little deeper I found out that a class named 'no-sidebars' was being inserted by default. Digging a bit more deeper I realized that in Drupal the default name of the sidebars were 'sidebar_first' and 'sidebar_second'. The Drupal theme system checks the theme.inc file for the sidebars('sidebar_first' and 'sidebar_second') to ensure that they are not empty. If they are indeed empty then Drupal will add the 'no-sidebars' class to the body tag which will prevent us from utilizing the full real estate of the Drupal theme.

In my case the sidebar regions were named slightly differently resulting in the 'no-sidebars' class being inserted every time. This problem can be solved by naming the sidebars correctly in your theme's info file. Try to name your sidebars in the convention of 'sidebar_first' and 'sidebar_second' and you will be able to extend the content width to occupy the full width of the theme in the absence of sidebars in your theme.

Hope this was helpful. Post your queries as comments below. Get in touch with us for any assistance regarding Drupal theming