Configure custom backend preview for content element

To allow editors a smoother experience, all custom content elements and plugins should be configured with a corresponding backend preview that shows an approximation of the element's appearance in the TYPO3 page module. The following sections describe how to achieve that.

A preview renderer is used to facilitate (record) previews in TYPO3. This class is responsible for generating the preview and the wrapping.

Writing a PreviewRenderer

A custom preview renderer must implement the interface \TYPO3\CMS\Backend\Preview\PreviewRendererInterface which contains the following API methods:

interface TYPO3\CMS\Backend\Preview\PreviewRendererInterface

Interface PreviewRendererInterface

Contract for classes capable of rendering previews of a given record from a table. Responsible for rendering preview header, preview content and wrapping of those two values.

Responsibilities are segmented into three methods, one for each responsibility, which is done in order to allow overriding classes to change those parts individually without having to replace other parts. Rather than relying on implementations to be friendly and divide code into smaller pieces and give them (at least) protected visibility, the key methods are instead required on the interface directly.

Callers are then responsible for calling each method and combining/wrapping the output appropriately.

renderPageModulePreviewHeader(TYPO3\\CMS\\Backend\\View\\BackendLayout\\Grid\\GridColumnItem $item)

Dedicated method for rendering preview header HTML for the page module only. Receives the the GridColumnItem that contains the record for which a preview header should be rendered and returned.

Parameters
  • $item (TYPO3\CMS\Backend\View\BackendLayout\Grid\GridColumnItem) -- the item

Return type

string

renderPageModulePreviewContent(TYPO3\\CMS\\Backend\\View\\BackendLayout\\Grid\\GridColumnItem $item)

Dedicated method for rendering preview body HTML for the page module only. Receives the the GridColumnItem that contains the record for which a preview should be rendered and returned.

Parameters
  • $item (TYPO3\CMS\Backend\View\BackendLayout\Grid\GridColumnItem) -- the item

Return type

string

renderPageModulePreviewFooter(TYPO3\\CMS\\Backend\\View\\BackendLayout\\Grid\\GridColumnItem $item)

Render a footer for the record to display in page module below the body of the item's preview.

Parameters
  • $item (TYPO3\CMS\Backend\View\BackendLayout\Grid\GridColumnItem) -- the item

Return type

string

wrapPageModulePreview(string $previewHeader, string $previewContent, TYPO3\\CMS\\Backend\\View\\BackendLayout\\Grid\\GridColumnItem $item)

Dedicated method for wrapping a preview header and body HTML. Receives $item, an instance of GridColumnItem holding among other things the record, which can be used to determine appropriate wrapping.

Parameters
  • $previewHeader (string) -- the previewHeader

  • $previewContent (string) -- the previewContent

  • $item (TYPO3\CMS\Backend\View\BackendLayout\Grid\GridColumnItem) -- the item

Return type

string

Implementing these methods allows you to control the exact composition of the preview.

This means assuming your preview renderer returns <h4>Header</h4> from the header render method and <p>Body</p> from the preview content rendering method and your wrapping method does return '<div>' . $previewHeader . $previewContent . '</div>'; then the entire output becomes <div><h4>Header</h4><p>Body</p></div> when combined.

Should you wish to reuse parts of the default preview rendering and only change, for example, the method that renders the preview body content, you can extend \TYPO3\CMS\Backend\Preview\StandardContentPreviewRenderer in your custom preview renderer class - and selectively override the methods from the API displayed above.

Configuring the implementation

Individual preview renderers can be defined by using one of the following approaches:

  1. Any record

    $GLOBALS['TCA'][$table]['ctrl']['previewRenderer']
        = MyVendor\MyExtension\Preview\MyPreviewRenderer::class;
    

    This specifies the PreviewRenderer to be used for any record in $table.

  2. Table has a type field/attribute

    $GLOBALS['TCA'][$table]['types'][$type]['previewRenderer']
        = MyVendor\MyExtension\Preview\MyPreviewRenderer::class;
    

    This specifies the PreviewRenderer only for records of type $type as determined by the type field of your table.

  3. Table and field have a subtype_value_field TCA setting

    If your table and field have a subtype_value_field TCA setting (like tt_content.list_type for example) and you want to register a preview renderer that applies only when that value is selected (for example, when a certain plugin type is selected and you can't match it with the "type" of the record alone):

    $GLOBALS['TCA'][$table]['types'][$type]['previewRenderer'][$subType]
        = MyVendor\MyExtension\Preview\MyPreviewRenderer::class;
    

    Where $type is, for example, list (indicating a plugin) and $subType is the value of the list_type field when the type of plugin you want to target is selected as plugin type.

Note

The recommended location is in the ctrl array in your extension's Configuration/TCA/$table.php or Configuration/TCA/Overrides/$table.php file. The former is used when your extension is the one that creates the table, the latter is used when you need to override TCA properties of tables added by the Core or other extensions.