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In my Joomla based web site, I have a two layer main menu. The page layout contains two sections whereas the left one displays the content and the right one displays some other kind of content which at the same time serves as a menu.

For example, if the user clicks on the "Products" -> "SomeCategory" 2nd level menu item, the left section displays an image. The right section lists all products of that category. Each product is represented by an image and text. The content is scrollable. This section is implemented by means of a custom module (mod_custom) assigned to the menu. The content is rich text (HTML). Each product is entered manually by adding a picture and a text in the WYSIWYG editor, and by inserting a link for the picture and text.

Now the issue:

When the user clicks on a product, I want to display the corresponding product description article ("SomeProduct") to the left, accounting for the following requirements:

  • The bread crumb now displays "Products -> SomeCategory -> SomeProduct"
  • The main menu still displays the 2nd level for "Products", and "SomeCategory" is still marked as selected.
  • (I would love if the right section which lists the product would remain in the exact same scroll state, but that's a completely different story.)

If I link the product entry from the right hand side directly to the article "SomeProduct", then the article appears to the left, but the breadcrumb and menu are reset.

So I wanted to create a hidden menu item "SomeProduct" beneath "SomeCategory", and to link the product entry to that menu item. This way, if I click on the product entry, the article appears to the left, the breadcrumb behaves correctly, and the menu state is preserved. However, it is not possible to configure the SomeProduct menu item as "hidden", therefore it appears in the main menu.

I found some resources that suggest to create another menu, called "hidden", which does not use any modules, and to create the "SomeProduct" menu item in that menu. Unfortunately this did not work for me: If I link that menu item from the product entry, and click on that entry, then the article appears to the left, but the menu is reset, and the breadcrumb displays "SomeProduct" instead of "Products > SomeCategory > SomeProduct".

Lucky me! I found an appropriate stackexchange site where I can pour out my heart to you guys. Sure you can help me :-)


Update: To make my point clearer, see the wireframes below, they show how I'd like the page to behave. Please note that the "SomeProduct" etc. do not appear in the main menu, but they behave like submenus of "SomeCategory".

User clicks "Products":

enter image description here

User clicks "SomeCategory":

enter image description here

User clicks "SomeProduct":

enter image description here

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Are you using some ready-made extensions or is it a component you built? I worked on some sites with Virtuamart and Hikashop, and the trick of using a 'hidden' (I suppose you mean 'unpublished' module menu) works fine. Or maybe I just dind't get the question right? –  Damien Pirsy Feb 16 '11 at 19:29
    
@Damien: "'unpublished' module menu" - hm sounds interesting. I didn't even enter a name for a module when creating the menu. Was that wrong? –  chiccodoro Feb 17 '11 at 10:23
    
@Damien: I tried entering "unpublished" in the module field, but it didn't help, so I probably mistook you. To add to my question: I created a menu named "Hidden" and added a menu item called "SomeProduct". The url to that menu then is "/someproduct", but I want it to be like "/products/somecategory/someproduct", just as if it was a sub-item of "SomeCategory". –  chiccodoro Feb 17 '11 at 12:55
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2 Answers

I now changed the structure of our navigation such that all of the "supposed-to-be-hidden" links are on the 3rd level, and configured the menu module to only display levels 1-2.

This is not very satisfying though. I would prefer to be able to hide menu items of any level instead. So if anyone comes up with some accurate help, I'm all ears.

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I found another solution: The "SomeCategory" and "AnotherCategory" menus now are category blog menu items. I defined a joomla category for each of these and assigned the product articles to those categories. I configured the "SomeCategory" category blog menu item such that it only displays one article.

Using a category blog menu item automatically guarantees that if you display an article of the corresponding category, it is treated like a submenu: The breadcrumb displays "SomeCategory > SomeProduct", and the "SomeCategory" menu item in the main menu remains active.

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