Can it be done with CSS? Grouping categories on category page

What I’d like to do (as I know there’s no baked in setting or feature set) is use CSS to group categories on the home page.

I’m not looking to nest categories, but just group some together and possibly put a header on them. I know the individual categories can be “separated” with padding, and I know each category can be targeted by category ID or category name. So what I’m hoping is to be able to replicate something that looks like this:

image

I realize for simplicity, the categories would have to be in their sorted order, and each category targeted by catediry_id, but I’m thinking that there’s possibly some CSS that can throw padding after one category or before another.

The big question is there the ability to insert some text in the padding to create a header?

The propose of this is to first break up the long category list view, but separate: example

  • category 1-2 under “staff” header

  • Category 3-4 under “community resources)

  • categories 5,8,11,12,13 “under general discussion categories”

I don’t want to make these sub categories, I like the structure and category system just as it is. All I want to do is display the categories a little differently on the categories view page. Ideally this is just a visual layout, NOTHING to change with the library structure of the platform.

Any idea how to make this happen?

This would be kind of a game changer for my work collaboration site’s layout.

Sam, codinghorror, do you think there would be a way to create a grouping step in the category reorganization menu that could do this natively, say as an option (grouping on/off).just put the categories in order within main page grouping and it could automatically separare them. In core, plugin or a theme component?

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anyone? buehler.

feedback appreciated

This kind of stuff is possible in a theme component but extremely complicated. I think you would need to override templates which makes this also pretty fragile.

4 Likes

A bit late :smile: but maybe someone else needs it. I must mention that:

  • Not all the CSS code is required, especially the borders and the background colors for table rows, so feel free to adjust them as you like.
  • I had to change the layout from the regular table into flex cause you can’t have negative margins on table rows and other layout issues, and well…is more flexible :smile:
  • Replace Category Group 1 and Category Group 2 with your desired category group names
  • In my example I’ve used the category ID’s 2 and 4, so using chrome dev tools to inspect ( see pic below), find the right category id and replace [data-category-id="2"] and [data-category-id="4"] in my example with your id(s).

Paste this inside the Common tab:

.category-list{
    display: flex;
    flex-direction: column;
}
.category-list thead tr{
    display: flex;
}
.category-list .topics {
    width: 95px;
    margin-left: auto;
    min-width: 95px;
    white-space: nowrap;
}
.category-list tbody tr {
    background-color: var(--primary-very-low);
    box-sizing: border-box;
    display: flex;
}
body .category-list [data-category-id="2"],body .category-list [data-category-id="4"] {
    position: relative;
    margin-top: 50px;
}
body [data-category-id="2"]::before {
    content: "Category Group 1";
}
body [data-category-id="4"]::before {
    content: "Category Group 2";
}
body [data-category-id="2"]::before,body [data-category-id="4"]::before {
    position: absolute;
    top: -35px;
    left: 0;
    font-weight: bold;
    font-size: 15px;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    color: var(--primary-medium);
}

Paste this inside the Desktop tab:

.category-list tbody tr {
    margin-bottom: 15px;
    border: 1px solid var(--primary-low);
}

And this inside the Mobile tab:

body .category-list-item.category .posts {
    width: auto;
    margin-left: auto;
}
body .category-list-item>footer,body .subcategory-list-item>footer{
    background-color: var(--primary-very-low);
}
.categories-list .category-list th {
    padding: 0;
}
.category-list-item>footer .category-stat, .subcategory-list-item>footer .category-stat {
    float: right;
}
.category-list-item>footer .category-stat:first-child, .subcategory-list-item>footer .category-stat:first-child{
    margin-right: 0;
}
body .category-list-item.category tr:first-of-type{
    padding: 10px 0;
    border-bottom: 1px solid var(--primary-low);
}
body tr.category-topic-link:last-of-type{
    border-bottom: 1px solid var(--primary-low);
}
body .categories-list .category-list th {
    padding: 0;
}
body .category-list-item {
    border-top: none;
    margin-bottom: 10px;
}
body .category-list-item {
    padding: 0;
    border: 1px solid var(--primary-low)!important;
}
.category-list-item>footer, .subcategory-list-item>footer {
    border-top: none;
}

And this is how it looks on desktop and mobile resolutions:

8 Likes

Hi Cos
]very interesting; thank you for sharing. in the same spirit (that of obtaining a better presentation, we are trying to put, in front of discourse, a wordpress page with a specific presentation and we would like to "send on this page, category names, for example those which have received a response , those chosen by the user, or then a determinate category; do you think this is possible and if so how?

I’m afraid you can’t do that just by CSS. Maybe the WordPress Discourse plugin is what you need. In addition to this, the wp discourse shortcodes is also a must.
We are already using it on our WordPress website and it works great so far. This is how the plugin looks in the sidebar widget:

1 Like

@sam, @cosdesign’s response works. is there any way to bake this into core’s menus so users can leave it off by default, but then set the headers in the admin panel for group header titles, and in each category’s attributes page, select from a dropdown of the enabled section headers from the admin panel so the category just falls under the header.

This shouldn’t be terribly difficult to add to the platform and would really improve large multi user role and group, multi category installations

1 Like

This kind of grouping is now supported in Discourse core:

Choose “Subcategories with Featured Topics” as the ‘desktop category page style’:

And then your categories page will look something like this:

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