Mura CMS Theme Development: Display Objects - Mura Digital Experience Platform
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Mura CMS Theme Development: Display Objects

July 30, 2015 by Ronnie Duke

Mura comes with several built in display objects such as Login Forms, Comments, Navs, Calendar, Gallery, etc. This tutorial will show you how to control the output of these objects for your themes.

Dynamic CSS Variables

With Mura CMS, you have many options to customize the auto-generated output for display objects. For example, let's say you want to edit the look and feel of the default login form. In your theme's contentRenderer.cfc, there is a list of all CSS variables that are used on these display objects:

this.loginFormClass="form-horizontal form-signin";
this.forgotPasswordFormClass="form-horizontal form-sendlogin";
this.loginFormFieldLabelClass="control-label col-lg-3";
this.loginFormPrefsClass="col-lg-offset-3 col-lg-10";
this.loginFormSubmitWrapperClass="col-lg-offset-3 col-lg-10";
this.notRegisteredLinkClass="btn btn-primary";

If you ever need to figure out what variable is attached to an object, just open up the object's file and take a look. All dynamic references will be mapped accordingly:

<form role="form" id="login" class="mura-login-form #this.loginFormClass#">...</form>

This is a quick and upgrade safe way to add CSS hooks to Mura display objects.


Overriding Display Objects

While most markup is written to be semantic and flexible, there may be times where you will want to make custom overrides either via CSS or adding additional functionality for a display object, specific to your theme. 

Note: Mura display objects vary in complexity. Certain objects such as Folders, Galleries, etc. tie into Mura admin functionality and may affect user experience if edited incorrectly. It is highly recommended to try all possible methods of styling via CSS before editing these files. 

Site Display Object Folder

The default display objects are located in your {site id}/includes/display_objectsfolder.


Note: These files should not be edited directly. Any changes to these files would get overridden whenever an user does a site update in the Mura admin. To make changes to these files, you would need to copy them to your Theme display_objectsfolder: {site id}/includes/themes/display_objects/


Theme Display Object Folder

The display_objects folder in your theme is designed to be upgrade safe for Mura sites. Any display object file that is in this folder will override the one in the site display objects folder above. If you're looking to override files, they should be mapped exactly how they are in the site display objects directly. For example, if you want to edit the gallery, you would copy over the entire gallery directory into your theme display object folder and edit the index.cfm file from there. 


Keep in mind, display objects can contain complex functionality, so exercise caution when editing contents and stick to just the markup tags without interfering with the CFML logic within the files.

From here, you should be able to do everything you need in order to apply your theme styles to Mura CMS objects.

Also see Mura CMS Documentation: Customizing Display Objects

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This article is part of an original series at titled "Theme development with Mura CMS" by Ronnie Duke. Further documentation for Mura CMS developers and content managers is available at Learn more about Mura's powerful features and flexible options at

About the Author

Ronnie Duke

Ronnie Duke is a product development engineer and Marketo Certified Expert at Blue River Interactive Group, creators of the Mura Platform. He enjoys solving technical challenges and creating great experiences for users.