Try our conversational search powered by Generative AI!

Jafet Valdez
Oct 22, 2018
  4206
(5 votes)

Changing Display Options Programmatically

Hello World.

Display Options are a great way for you to give your content editors the ability to change how blocks and other content are displayed when working with ContentAreas.

But one thing about Display Options isn’t very intuitive - how do we as developers apply them to content programmatically? I’d like to put it out there how this can be achieved very easily.

For this example I've set up two Display Options - Half Width and Full Width. But our content starts without having one of these set.

The Theoretical Stuff

One thing to remember is that the display options are not a part of the content itself. Instead it's a setting on a ContentArea that the content has beend added to. More specifically a setting available on every ContentAreaItem that populates the ContentArea.Items list.

So in other words we need to work with the piece of content that has the ContentArea we want to modify as a property. In my example below I've added a ContentArea property called "MainContent" to the QuickSilver StartPage

The Code

Knowing that Display Options are set on a ContentAreaItem, let’s look at the code!

    var startPage = _contentRepository.Get<StartPage>(ContentReference.StartPage);
    var cloneStartPage = startPage.CreateWritableClone() as StartPage;

    // Select the correct item in whatever way you want.
    // You could for example match specific content by looking for ContentArea.Items.FirstOrDefault(x => x.ContentLink == myContentReference)
    // This time I'm just grabbing the first item in the ContentArea.
    var item = cloneStartPage?.MainContent?.Items.FirstOrDefault();

    if (item != null)
    {
        item.RenderSettings["data-epi-content-display-option"] = "half-width"; // "half-width" being the Id for a DisplayOption that we've setup in our DisplayOptions
        cloneStartPage.MainContent.IsModified = true;
        _contentRepository.Save(cloneStartPage, SaveAction.Publish, AccessLevel.NoAccess);
    }

It's pretty simple but there are a couple of things here that are note worthy. First of all is the use of ContentAreaItem.RenderSettings dictionary instead of the now obsoleted ContentAreaItem.DisplayOption. It's a doozy of a dictionary key to remember, but hopefully it'll be setup as a constant somewhere some time soon. Or you can just refer back to this blog post. wink

Either way, the second thing of note is that we explicitly set the ContentArea.IsModified property to true. Modifying the RenderSettings without doing any other change doesn't setup the ContentArea properly for whatever (probably performance related) magic that the ContentRepository.Save method does to determine what gets updated in the database and what doesn't.

So if we ommit that line and save our page nothing will have changed after we've run our code. But adding it and then saving will properly update the display option on our piece of content:

Related Reading Material

How to setup DisplayOptions

Oct 22, 2018

Comments

Quan Mai
Quan Mai Oct 22, 2018 04:35 PM

Nice. Keep up the good work! With this rate I think you deserve at least one nomination, next time :) 

Tahir Naveed
Tahir Naveed Oct 23, 2018 10:58 AM

Thanks for sharing. Just what i needed for a piece of work that I am working on :) Thanks

valdis
valdis Oct 26, 2018 06:03 PM

worth to metion that if you are using bootstrap content area render package (https://nuget.episerver.com/package/?id=EPiBootstrapArea) - that thing also allows to decorate content type with atttribute controlling which will be default display option. more info here - https://github.com/valdisiljuconoks/EPiBootstrapArea/blob/master/README.md#default-displayoption-for-block

Please login to comment.
Latest blogs
Build a headless blog with Astro and Optimizely SaaS CMS

I’m a big fan of using the right tool for the right job. I’m also a big fan of Astro , for the right use case. Let's explore Astro to see what it's...

Jacob Pretorius | May 28, 2024

Microsoft announces Natural language to SQL

Finally, Microsoft launches "Natural language to SQL," after it has been available for several months in Optimizely CMS!

Tomas Hensrud Gulla | May 23, 2024 | Syndicated blog

Five easy ways to start personalizing your content right now

If you clicked on this article, you already know that getting the right message to the right person at the right time helps drive conversions and...

Kara Andersen | May 23, 2024

ExtendedCms.TinyMceEnhancements – serwer side webp support

Today I will introduce another small feature of TinyMceEnhancements plugin. The functionality is used to automatically detect whether a browser...

Grzegorz Wiecheć | May 22, 2024 | Syndicated blog

Azure AI Language– Detect Healthcare Content in Optimizely CMS

In this blog post, I showcase how the Azure AI Language service's Text Analytics for health feature can be used to detect healthcare content within...

Anil Patel | May 22, 2024 | Syndicated blog

Stott Security Version 2 So Far

In December 2023, I unveiled the initial version of Stott Security version 2. Although I typically announce each version I release on LinkedIn and...

Mark Stott | May 22, 2024