Refresh Software Documentation » Helios Calendar 1.x » Calendar Template

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Helios Calendar has a public calendar template file that will allow you to modify the way your public calendar looks quickly and easily. The following is an outline of how to create your own Helios template.

The default Helios template, which you will edit to your own custom layout, is located at /events/index.php. Helios currently only permits usage of a single template (or "skin"), so you may want to backup your current template prior to editing it.

NOTE: Your Helios template file must replace the default index.php and must have a .php extension.

Helios Header

The first line of uncommented code in your template must be:


This includes the Helios Calendar header and all of the overhead needed to access Helios components within the template. If you place any code above this it will break your template.

Helios Components

The most important parts of your Helios template will be the included Helios components. These components are the "puzzle pieces" you will use to put together your final template. Once you have the HTML and graphics for your template completed, and have selected where you want the "pieces" of Helios to go, you can include them with the PHP include statement using the component name.

Available Components

include(HC_Menu) ------	Helios Menu
include(HC_Core) ------	Primary Content
include(HC_Language) -- Language Select (Flag Icons)
include(HC_Controls) --	Control Panel
include(HC_Links) -----	RSS & iCal Subscribe Links
include(HC_Filter) ----	Category Filter List
include(HC_Billboard) -	Billboard Events List
include(HC_Popular) ---	Most Popular Events List
include(HC_Newest) ----	Newest Events List
include(HC_GMap) ------	Google Maps Function (See Note Below)

Filter Component Columns

You can control the number of columns used in the filter component by setting the $hc_cols variable within your template before including the Filter component.

For example if you wanted to use two columns, instead of the default 1 column, your template code would be:

$hc_cols = 2;

Note: If the $hc_cols variable is not set in your template Helios Calendar will automatically use 1 column for the Filter component.

Including Components

To add a component to your layout you will use the php include statement. For example: if you wanted to add the Helios menu to your template you would use the following code in your layout where you wanted the menu to appear:

<?php include(HC_Menu);?>

NOTE: Your include statement should not have quotes. Include your components exactly as in the sample above.

Do I Have to Use All of the Components?

No, you can use as many or as few as you like. Some components, like HC_Menu and HC_Core, are critical because without them your visitors won't be able to navigate or use your calendar. Others, like the HC_Billboard or HC_Popular, are optional, but recommended. If, for example, you are adding events to the billboard for a Helios Calendar without the HC_Billboard component in it's template, the calendar will not display the events as featured anywhere on the public calendar.

Refresh recommended using as many of the Helios Components in your template as possible because it will add to your users' experience when they visit your Helios Calendar.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Dual <head> tags

Do not create an open head tag for your template. This will be created by the included header.php file. You can include additional head tag content (JavaScript, etc) by adding it to your template between the header include line and the closing </head> tag.

Google Maps Not Displayed

There are 3 common issues affecting the display of Google Maps in Helios

  1. A Google Maps API Key has not been saved in your Settings
  2. The event you are viewing is not assigned to a Location that has Geocode data saved for it
  3. Your template is missing the HC_GMap include, or it's not the line of code in your template before the closing </body> tag.

If none of these issues are the cause of your map problem please visit the forum for further assistance.


To view samples of Helios powered sites that have custom templates please visit the Helios samples gallery. Click here to visit gallery.

Further Help

If you're having difficulty creating your template please visit the Refresh Community Forum for additional support.