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Customize the Plone "add portal content" menu

Project description


This product make possible the customization of the Plone “Add new…” menu, commonly filled from the Plone available content types.

This is designed for avoiding useless content types but, at the same time, help UI experience of not experienced users.

You can use this to add new non-standard stuff to the menu (like Javascript links). See below.

Idea behind this

The case is related to developed content types that gets added to Plone only for usability enhancements.

One example: have you ever used Plone4ArtistsVideo, or collective.flowplayer? In those products users that want to add new video to a site must use the “Add new…” menu and select the File content.

So the editor (that is never a developer in real life… you must accept it) must know that when he add a new file, it magically became a video… This is not so simple to understand; also is impossible to understand it without a training or by past experience. Will not be better if the user can read “Add new video” in the menu instead?

Right now the best usability choice is to add a new content type to the menu, or develop a new helper portlet that show some links like “add a new video here”.

In the first case, just copy/paste the original used content if enough (copy/paste the File content type and rename it in something like “Video”). But you know… we don’t really need those new content types.

In the second case all is ok, but all that Plone users know is to look at the right menu to search for addable types, not to look in a menu and also in another place.


  • user know that for adding new content types, they must use the “Add new…
  • users often ignores the magic behind Plone (like the File that became a Video)
  • developer don’t like to add new silly content types only to help editors.

The problem above is related to the not-customizable state of the “Add new…” menu: the editor and the developer will be both happy if a new, fake entry could be added to this menu. Going back to the video example:

  • the classic File entry (that point to http://myhost/mysite/createObject?type_name=File)
  • a new “Video” entry (again pointing to http://myhost/mysite/createObject?type_name=File)

This products is designed only for this or similar usability issues.

How to use


Simply add the egg to your buildout, and re-run it. Remember to add also the ZCML overrides.

eggs =

zcml =

After this, install the new product in Plone.


You can reinstall the products safely without lose any customization data. If you uninstall it, all customization will be removed from your Plone site, leaving no garbage behind.

Customize the menu

In your “Add new…” menu you’ll find a new “Customize menu…” entry. This will lead you to a customization form where you can manage local menu changes of the current context.

The used context is always the container where you can find the context, or the context itself if it’s a container.

for every new entry you can/must fill this informations:

Enter here a string to be used to add an HTML id attribute to the new element. You can not provide it, but if you use an already existing ids, the new one will override the old. In this way you can replace one of the native (or inherited) menu entry with a new ones.
Required. Provide the string to be used for displaying the new element.
The description is used to provide a tooltips hovering the element.
A TALES expression that can be used to give an icon to the new element (very common).
A TALES condition expression. If not provided, the new element is added to the menu. In provided it is evaluated as True or False, so the element is displayed or not.
Required. A TALES expression used to render the HREF attribute on the link in the element. You have total freedom here: you can also render a string as “javascript:…” to provide some Javascript features.

Also you can inherit the customization done in the site root everywhere in the site, adding this to all other customizations. You can also locally block the inherit of root customization but you can also make new menu elements defined in the root available only in the root itself.

Also, you can five a right id to new entries not only to override menu element from Plone normal behaviour, but also for change a customization done in the site root.

TALES expressions

In the TALES expression above, you can use those variables:

The current context, as Plone normal meaning
The container of the current context, or the context itself if the context is a container or you are viewing a default document in a folder.
The portal_url tool, taken from the Plone site.


  • localization
  • browser tests
  • javascript features for managing entries
  • code needs refactoring
  • tests on Plone 4


0.1.0a - (2010-01-04)

  • Initial release

Project details

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