Here are some quick answers to common “How Do I?” questions.

How Do I..

…display something only on an individual article page?

Surround it with an txp:if_individual_article tag:

	<!-- displayed on individual article page only -->

…display something only on list (section/front) pages?

Surround it with an txp:if_article_list tag:

	<!-- displayed on list pages only -->

…make an “About” page?

FAQ: Managing Static Pages

…make a reusable sidebar, header or footer?

With the txp:output_form tag.

FAQ: How do I reuse chunks of HTML?

…show a list of recent articles or comments in a sidebar?

With the txp:recent_articles or txp:recent_comments tags.

For more control over a list of recent articles, use txp:article_custom instead.

FAQ: How do I change the output of txp:recent_articles?

…show a short list of articles or article links in a sidebar?

For simple lists, the recent_articles tag might do what you want (see above).

To list articles from a specific section or category, use the txp:article_custom tag. Create an article form containing only the tags you want, for example:

<h4><txp:permlink><txp:title /></txp:permlink></h4>

<txp:excerpt />

Then use a tag like <txp:article_custom limit="5" form="myformname" /> in your sidebar.

…show a short version of articles with a “read more..” link?

Use something like this in your article form:

	<!-- excerpt only -->
	<txp:excerpt />
	<txp:permlink>read more..</txp:permlink>
<txp:else />
	<!-- full article body -->
	<txp:body />

FAQ: How do I show only an excerpt in article lists?

Excerpts automatically generated from the article body are possible through plugins.

…break an article list into columns, or insert ads between certain articles in a list?

Use the limit, offset and pageby attributes of txp:article:

<txp:article limit="3" pageby="10" />

<!-- column break or advertisement -->

<txp:article limit="7" offset="3" pageby="10" />

Textpattern Support Forum: txp:article pageby attribute

…supply a special layout to the first article on a page?

Use the txp:if_first_article tag in your article form:

	<!-- display the entire first article -->
	<txp:body />
<txp:else />
	<!-- display the excerpt only for subsequent articles -->
	<txp:excerpt />

…apply a special layout to articles from a particular section when shown on the front page?

Use the txp:if_article_section tag in your article form:

<txp:if_article_section name="linklog">
	<!-- "linklog" section only -->
	<div class="linklog"><txp:body /></div>
<txp:else />
	<!-- all other sections -->
	<txp:title />

	<txp:body />

…apply a special layout to articles from a particular category?

Use the txp:if_article_category tag in your article form:

<txp:if_article_category name="national">
	<!-- "national" category only -->
	<div class="linklog"><txp:excerpt /></div>
<txp:else />
	<!-- all other categories -->
	<txp:title />
	<txp:body />

…show a unique intro paragraph on each section page?

Post a “Sticky” article in each section containing the paragraph for that section, and display it with a <txp:article status="sticky" /> tag.

FAQ: How do I keep a post at the top of the page?

…show the same intro paragraph on more than one section page?

Post a “Sticky” article containing the text, and display it with the tag <txp:article_custom id="123" />, where 123 is the ID number of the sticky article. Enclose it with the <txp:if_article_list> tag if necessary.

FAQ: How do I keep a post at the top of the page?

…show a unique banner image or similar on a particular section page?

If the page layout for each section is to be identical except for a small element, you should probably share the same page template between all sections, and use the txp:if_section tag to selectively display variations:

<txp:if_section name="weather">
	<img src="/images/cloud.jpg" />

<txp:if_section name="sport">
	<img src="/images/cricket.jpg" />

<!-- etc -->

…add a stylesheet for printing?

Create a new style named “print”, and add this to the <head> portion of your page template:

<txp:css format="link" media="print" n="print" />

…display a random article, or a link to a random article?

Put this in your page template:

<txp:article_custom sort="rand()" limit="1" form="random" />

..and create an article form named “random” containing the appropriate article tags, e.g:

<txp:permlink><txp:title /></txp:permlink>

<txp:excerpt />

…display articles in a different order?

To sort by title in ascending alphabetical order:

<txp:article sort="Title asc" />

To sort by Category 1 in descending order:

<txp:article sort="Category1 desc" />

To sort by Category 1 first, then article date:

<txp:article sort="Category1 asc, Posted asc" />

To sort by a custom field1:

<txp:article sort="custom_3 asc" />

…display “Top Stories” first, then regular articles?

Use a custom field to identify your top stories, and use this tag in your page template:

<txp:article sort="custom_5 asc" />

Storing numbers in custom field 5 will bring articles to the top, with higher numbers shown first.

1 You must use the custom_n name here, not the custom field name as defined in Advanced Preferences.