displaying a single article

How to switch the article attached to a menu link on a Joomla website:

This question is easier asked than answered. The short answer is that it depends on how you want to display it. First, understand that Joomla uses menu items to control how information is displayed on a website. When creating a new menu item, the first thing you must do is to select the type of menu you want: a single artlcle layout, blog layout, a specific component, etc. This determines how information will be displayed on the site - and for that link. A "single article" type link is just what you might think it is. The link opens that article as a separate, individual page. A "blog" type link links to a page(s) showing all of the articles related to that blog/category.

In this example, we would select a "single article". For the sake of this tutorial, let's say you have a single article already being displayed by that link on your website and you want to change the article to something else or update the link with entirely new article. The assumptions are that the menu item being changed is in the main menu, that we only want to change the article to which it is linked, and that the new article has already been created in the Article Manager and has been published.
Published in Joomla means that the article is active and ready for linking. If the article is unpublished, it will not show up in the articles listed.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the backend of the site.
  2. Open the Menu Manager by either clicking on the "Menu Manager" icon in the control panel or by clicking on "Menus" in the main Joomla menu at the top of the page.
    1. If you click on the Menu Manager icon on the Control Panel page, a new window will open listing all of the website's menus.
      1. Select the menu you want to edit and click on the number shown in the "#Published" column (for Joomla 2.5) or on the menu item icon in the "Menu Items" (for Joomla 1.5). This will open another window listing all of the items in that menu.
      2. Click on the name of the menu item you wish to switch artlcles being displayed. This opens another window: "Menu Manager: Edit Menu Item".
      3. Look in the right column for "Required Settings" (for Joomla 2.5) or for "Parameters" (for Joomla 1.5). Click the "Select/Change" button (for Joomla 2.5) or the "Select" button (for Joomla 1.5).
      4. A new window will open listing all of the published articles on the website. Navigate to the article you wish to display and click on the the title. This window will automatically close and you should see the new article title in the "Select Article" input box.
      5. Click the "Save" icon. This will close the window, saving the changes and return you to the "Menu Manager: Menu Items" (for Joomla 2.5) or to the "Menu Item Manager[name of menu selected] (for Joomla 1.5).
    2. If you clicked the "Menus" in the Joomla main menu, a drop down box will appear listing all of the menus available.
      1. Click on the "Main Menu", in this example. This will open the page listing the items in that menu.
      2. Click on the name of the menu item to be changed and follow the steps from a, iii to the conclusion.
  3. The new page should now be displayed on your website. Open the front end and immediately refresh the page.
    If your site has been cached in your Internet browser, you will probably need to delete the cached items before the new article link will be displayed.
  4. Click on the menu item you changed to make sure your new article is there.
  5. Give yourself a pat on the back for a "job well done".
Adding an single article to the website:

If we only wanted to add an article as a single page, the steps are similar to those outlined above. The biggest difference is that the process begins by creating a new menu item (link) in the "Menu Manager". This process is a little more complex because of the extra information needed when creating a new menu as opposed to changing which article a link points to, such as the "Menu Title" of the menu link, the position of the menu in the menu list, whether the date created, the author, etc are to be displayed on the page - but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

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