How to View Module Positions in Joomla 3

View Module Positions in Joomla

Joomla 3.0 Joomla 3.1 Joomla 3.2

In Joomla 3.0, the location a module shows up on a page is determined by the position the module is set to. For example, if you have a module position within your template named footer-1, to place a module there you will have to set the module’s position to footer-1. Likewise, setting a module’s position to position-7 will most likely place the module in your template’s sidebar.

Before you can decide which position to assign a module to, you need to know which positions your template has available, as each template can define different positions at different locations on the page. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to view the module positions in a Joomla 3.0 template.

How to view Module Positions in Joomla 3.0

  1. Log into your Joomla 3.0 administrative dashboard
  2. In the top menu, click Extensions and then click Template Manager
  3. In the tabs at the top of the page, click the Options tab
  4. Under the Templates tab, find the following setting:

    Preview Module Positions
    Enable the preview of the module positions in the template by appending tp=1 to the web address. Also enables the Preview button in the list of templates. Please refresh the page after changing this setting.

    Click Enabled next to this option, and then click the Save & Close button at the top of the page.

  5. Once again, in the top menu, click Extensions and then click Template Manager
  6. Now that we have the Preview Module Positions setting enabled, you will see a preview icon next to your Site Templates. Click the preview icon next to the template you would like to view.
  7. After clicking the preview icon, you’ll see a new window appear that looks similar to the below (we are previewing the prostart template):

    As you can see in the screenshot above, the red arrow points to position-7. If you wanted a module to show in this position, you would assign the module to position-7.

Joomla 3.1

The same steps apply in Joomla 3.1 as they do in Joomla 3.0

Joomla 3.2

The same steps apply in Joomla 3.2 as they do in Joomla 3.0

33 thoughts on “How to View Module Positions in Joomla 3

    1. Thanks for letting us know! I went ahead and looked up the Joomla! Documentation on Module Position to confirm. It appears that enabling/disabling the preview module setting is the same.

      However, the method for actually previewing the module positions, requires you to append ?tp=1 or &tp=1 to your website’s URL. For example:

      I hope this helps you, as the documentation advises this works for Joomla! version 3.x, which should include your version.


  1. Hi,

    The whole templating is driving me crazy.

    I have installed a fresh joomla! 3.8.5 (linux with apache2 and mysql) and the default english content. Joomla came with Beez3 and Protostar, and I have added a super-simple template from scratch. 

    The super-simple hello world template (from joomla’s tutorials) works and I can see the positions, but after switching from Beez3 to my custom template, the admin-page “Extensions->Modules” is playing crazy. It does NOT show the modules and positions from the index.php.

    The position-names from my templateDetails.xml appear, however, in the drop-down list once I click any of these modules I dont recognize (because they are left overs from the Beez3 template), right before ‘Active Positions’ which are the one the unknown modules are sitting on. 

    What the hell is going on? I though when I switch I template in ‘styles’ (make default) then the default modules for that template and everything would be replaced?

    Am I doing something wrong?

    1. If the positions are not showing then you should check the associated XML file. Check out this post for more information on the issue. If you continue to have problems with it, my recommendation is to post to the Joomla support forum for further assistance.

  2. How can I get the banner to display in the centre of the page. It is driving me crazy. i hav eit in the position I want but I want it to appear central.

    Can anyone help?

    1. Hello PRK,

      Centering banners does have a few posts in the Joomla support forum. It generally requires a change in the CSS. You can find that information here.

      If you have any further questions, please let us know.

      Kindest regards,
      Arnel C.

  3. The instructions worked fine on Joomla 3.4.3. How do I turn off the preview mode and go back to seeing the “normal” template view. I assume I click Preview View -“Disable”, but I don’t want to risk being wrong. My initial look at the template showed Preview View Enabled, but did not display the eyeball until I added TP=1 to the URL.

    1. Hello Allan,

      I would not be afraid to go ahead and click it to disable it. If it does not behave like you think, just click it back to the original position.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  4. Alias names for each positions, easy to learn.

    Debug [debug] 
    Search [position-0] 
    Top [position-1]

    Breadcrumbs [position-2]

    Right bottom [position-3]

    Left middle [position-4]

    Left bottom [position-5]

    Right top [position-6]

    Left top [position-7]

    Right middle [position-8]

    Footer top [position-9]

    Footer middle [position-10]

    Footer bottom [position-11]

    Middle top [position-12]

    Unused [position-13]
    Footer last [position-14]


    Banner [banner]

    Debug [debug] 

    Search [position-0]

    Navigation [position-1]

    Breadcrumbs [position-2]

    Top centre [position-3]

    Unused [position-4]

    Unused [position-5]

    Unused [position-6]

    Right [position-7]

    Left [position-8]

    Unused [position-9]

    Unused [position-…]

    Unused [position-14]

    Footer [footer]

    Modules alias map is helpful for me.. example:

    1. I am a novice. One must read the instructions carefully to get to the right answer. I have no problem with that but lack of confidence and impatience from my side can be a problem.!!!!!

    2. Add alias for each positions – if exist. Fast lerning names of positions when use it, not that easy for numbers. Fast choose at listbox, jump when type first letter of alias we want.
      I just learning Joomla now, (from ) and makes some notes. Its new info for me so its realy helpful has got alias map:

      Modules alias map for Protostar

      For beez3


  5. I am new to Joomla. I follow these steps and using in my website. I’m very clear after read this blog how to view on the module position in Joomla 3 information. Thanks a lot..

  6. Does anyone know what position Featured Articles are placed, and if this can be done manually? I’ve installed the effortless template from Themeforest and even the demo Feature Article is not placed on the home page?!

    1. Hello Doug,

      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the “Effortless” template since it requires purchase. These templates can vary wildly based on how they are coded.

      You may have to create a Featured Articles menu item, before it displays on the page.

      That guide is from the Official Joomla Documentation page.

      If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.

      Thank you,

  7. I want to display only the left link so there are no modules on the right side. However the template shows blank space for the right modules.

    I want the main contents to flow over till the end of the right module. Kindly help.

  8. Thanks for the link and the advice, Ive been running the website live because the preview doesnt work yet. Not pretty.

    One more try on Joomla (reload) and I’m off to wordpress.

  9. Thanks for responding Jeff.

    It appears so, no errors reporting. I had a template (Phoca_bild3) I DLed and then removed since its management plugin threw errors & wouldn’t load so Ive seen errors on this install but none when playing with the “preview module postions” toggle or save. Im logged in as Administrator super user.

    I’m an old IT hand but new to CMS, I would have had my website up and running by now using notepad 🙁 but truth be known I believe in the database driven website concept and have for a LONG time.

    Joomla learning curve is kicking my old butt HARD, 3.3.1 doesnt APPEAR have the documentation the older versions have, a drawback of ALL open source systems I’m finding. I dont want to bail on it for another brand of CMS but in the end, the website needs to be running to make money, every hour its not hurts.

    Even removing joomla appears a small nightmare.

    1. You may need to reinstall Joomla. You can do so via Softaculous.

      Personally, I’m a fan of WordPress so if you decide to leave Joomla, that’s the next thing I would try because it has a much simpler learning curve and a ton of documentation as it is the most used CMS out there.

    1. Are your settings successfully saving after clicking the Save button? It appears that you may have a further issue within your Joomla installation and may need to replace your Joomla core files.

  10. Where can I find this same info for version 3.3.1?

    The 3.3.1 interface is different and even after changing the settings to preview I see no change in the manager screen.

    1. The steps are the same within Joomla 3.3. You should now see a small eye to the left of the template that you need to see module positions on. If you do not see this after enabling the module positions, you may need to clear your browser cache.

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