Custom fields and layout formatting shortcodes for Joomla 3

Achieve any layout format you desire without coding or new template!

Easily use shortcode place holders for all the objects of an article and place them in any order within the CMSE textarea

With this CMSE Custom Fields and Custom Format plugin for Joomla Content, K2, J2Store and Mosets Tree,  a Joomla website owner will be able to Easily format and style content categories and posts without ever editing any template code. Also easily insert Video playlist, Audio playlist, Poll, Google map, Chat room, PayPal cart, Social media feed, and Joomla custom fields, while posting an article. Optimize and maximize each article page without moving back and forth between components to prepare content. Insert captivating and relative multi-media objects on-the-fly to keep your viewers hooked.

See the demo site for all the functions

This extension package require the CMSE Library



Inserting preset layout shortcode is very simple point and click

With the new Joomla 3.7 Custom Fields and CMSE Custom Fields and Custom Format plugin, you can turn your Joomla website into a Real Estate Listing, Business Directory, Events Listing and Ticket Sales, Portfolio, Product Catalog, Video Gallery, Internet Radio with Live Chatroom and just about any website type imaginable. All with ONLY the core Joomla Content Manager component. No need for excessive third party extensions.


See The Complete Demo

Display Results

Easily re-arrange the data objects of a Joomla article category blog view.

Make each category serve many purposes. All with intuitive shortcodes. It works with ANY template.



Unlimited formatting control with data object shortcodes

Easily arrange an article or category blog globally by placing shortcodes at any position. All meta objects are separated as individual objects that can be placed anywhere. A single post can be loaded with excess media to keep a viewer hooked for hours. See a page already over loaded.


Joomla Custom Fields Global Inserts

When using Joomla custom fields, insert them globally per category with shortcodes: Single field without label [insert field="3"] Multiple fields with labels [insert fields="3,4,5,6"]. This is not the same as inserting into articles with the Joomla content shortcode. While com_fields does have a position option, the CMSE method provides great flexibility.

Use accordion shortcode to reduce visual clutter

Wrap accordion function around single or grouped objects to reduced visual clutter. See the function.


When installed

The plugin will add a tab labeled CMSE Fields to the article tab set, a tab labeled CMSE Setup to the content configuration tab set and the menu item setup. Custom content (com_content) template override files will be added into the default front end template override directory. The files have custom name cmse.php so it will not overwrite any existing files.


Plugin Setup

There are some options to be set immediately after installation. Depending on your template or plugins, some functions may already exist.

The option to display the media object in frontend edit relates to public ans special groups. The Super Admin will have access to the fields at any end.


Set the Global Article Configuration

Select the CMSE template for the global article output file.



Menu Item Setting Method

If you prefer to keep your global setting with the default template or another you use, the CMSE article template can be set per menu item. Click the tab labeled CMSE Setup and choose CMSE fro the Article Layout Override field.



Content Configuration



Article Posting



Menu Item




  • Auto readMore in Category Blog view
  • Show article intro image thumbnail in links view
  • Insert a module per item in category blog (great for banner ads - see the demo)
  • Unlimited category formatting with shortcodes. Arrange data objects as desired
  • Insert Live Chatroom in an article
  • Insert Poll in an article while posting
  • Insert Video Playlist in articles. Supports videos from any video server
  • Insert Audio Playlist from local server or remote streaming source (internet radio)
  • Insert PayPal Cart in articles
  • Insert Google Map in articles
  • Easily embed multiple instances of Twitter and Facebook page feeds
  • Easily embed Twitter and Facebook posts in articles
  • Add Facebook comment or choose from others installed
  • Unlimited page formatting with shortcodes
  • Multiple preset formats to choose from
  • Create preset formats and save to be chosen from the list
  • Lock text area to avoid accidental layout erasing

Text area locked



Minimum Requirement:

Joomla 3.6.x | PHP 5.4.x
Joomla 3.7.x required to use the com_fields integration


The combination of Joomla 3.7 Custom Fields and CMSE Custom Fields and Custom Formatting will make Joomla's core Content Manager serve as:

  • Blog/ News/ Magazine
  • Business Directory
  • Event Listing
  • Models Portfolio Listing
  • Product Catalog
  • Portfolio
  • Real Estate Listing
  • Classified Ads
  • Online Dating
  • Simple Shopping Cart
  • Video Gallery
  • Photo Gallery
  • Audio Gallery
  • Internet Radio
  • and much more, just about any website type you can imagine, the new Joomla will make it happen!

See the site that demonstrates all the features of the plugin and shows how a single article can be overloaded with relative content to keep a viewer locked in. Do everything with just the core Joomla Content Manager and reduce third-party extension clutter and dependency. Stay as close to the core system as possible.

Category Blog View

Setting Up Menu Item - Category Blog

Choose CMSE Blog as menu type



Setup the page

Open the Blog Layout tab and adjust the settings. The standard settings are at top. The CMSE Custom Formatting is below. Choose from aptly named preset formats and rearrange as desired, or format your own way. The format fields accept plain text and HTML so there is no limit of what can be placed on the category item list page. You can place objects you have only imagined before... and all without editing any file.



Those settings return the category page formatted as below

The shortcode [ module="167"] represent the Joomla banner module, and when placed within the layout text area, random ads are inserted below each item. Very effective for marketing.


These shortcodes produce the below category layout




Category View In List Format

The Category List option is pretty much obsolete when using this CMSE Custom Fields and Custom Format plugin. To get the list view, simply choose the CMSE Blog, set Lead and it Intro Articles value to 0, then set the Links value as high as desired and use shortcodes to define the output. Now you get more than just the one line title.

This format outputs the second image.


See the page



More Category Layout Examples and Shortcode Methods


Event List



Models List



Realty Listing






Article View

Single Article Formatting

While still setting up the category menu item and done with category view layout, click the tab labeled CMSE Setup. Again you can simply choose a preset format and modify, or do your own. If you use Boostrap framework, you can use the associated classes: eg pull-right, pull-left, row, col etc. See the demo page showing this format


PayPal Cart Setup

This setting is to set this category to use these PayPal setting for each article post that inserts a cart. However, each article has a means to override the email, just in case that's needed. Note that the global configuration exists so this does not have to be done for each category menu item.



Social Media Page Feed

This will setup a single or multiple instances of social network page feeds.


Shortcodes In Article

While Posting An Article

The many media objects will almost guarantee viewer retention

See an article using the media objects to sell event tickets

Click the tab labeled CMSE Fields and prepare the media options. The advantage with this method is you don't need to move back and forth between third party components to prepare content then use plugin shortcodes to insert to the article. With CMSE Custom Fields, you easily prepare and insert the objects on the fly.

The video player will accept URLs from any video source that offers video embedding, and that's almost all video server. This mean content is endless so you can make a single article very intriguing to keep the viewer entertained.



Audio Player



PayPal Cart







Chatroom Object

A local AJAX chat application is included with the plugin package and can be enabled simply with the word local. This inserts the chatroom in the article. This is often desired by websites which broadcast internet radio. There is the option to use an external chat server by inserting the URL the service provided.



Google Map

To enable the map function just needs an address


Hover Sound FX

In the days of old when Flash was bold, many websites had mouse roll over sounds that was quite exciting for viewers. This addon is a throwback to that time.


Simply upload small (50kb or less) MP3 files and attach sounds to elements with classes, IDs or element names.


Example: The image below uses a map and there are 4 areas that have sound attached to the <area> elements. Hover your mouse around on the image to find them.




Sound can be attached to any element, all the bold words in this tab have a sound attached and the playback set to loop.



Use With K2

The plugin is compatible with K2 2.8.x


The CMSE Custom Kit for K2 includes:

  • K2 template override
  • Administrator item override to include CMSE custom fields tab


With this formatting system, there is no more need to have multiple K2 override templates to arrange K2 data objects or display K2 custom fields in specific locations. Simply use the field shortcode to place any K2 custom field where you desire within the layout setup in the category configuration. Eg: [ field="23" ]


Item layout shortcodes

This is a preset layout which output a dual column page that is ideal for desktop and wide screen viewing (see output).




CMSE Custom Fields for K2 items

A tab is added to the K2 item edit form which displays the many custom fields provided by the CMSE Custom field plugin. These fields will add many valuable data objects to a post to enhance viewer experience and increase page view time, therefore boosting ad exposure.



All the object types


Category Config

The setup method for the category remains the same for the most part but incorporates the object layout fields for the category view, items in category view and item view.


Each field has a preset style selector which loads the text area with object shortcodes. The shortcodes can rearranged to achieve any alternative layout. Create additional layout formats by using the override system within the default front end template.


Each item has a similar layout textarea which allows for overriding the category configuration. That means an article can have a completely different layout than others within the same category. Without the need for custom K2 template.

CMSE Custom Fields

Adding CMSE custom fields to K2 posts is very simple as shown in this video.


Installation is done via the standard Joomla extension installer. The plugin is automatically enabled on installation, however there are settings which may be suitable to your use. Not all settings apply to K2.


Physical changes during installation

  • A K2 template override is added to the Joomla default template's html override directory as com_k2/templates/cmse
    Note: the K2 template files tag.php and user.php are included in the override package, however the filenames cannot be changed so they will overwrite any similar files in the same K2 override directory. This does NOT affect the K2 template override method in components/com_k2/templates

  • An admin default template K2 override is added in the html override directory as com_k2/item/default.php. This will overwrite any existing file with the same name. The file is required to output the custom fields for item editing.

  • The entire category.xml and item.xml form files are overridden (not overwritten) so the category configuration will appear entirely different with the layout format fields at the top and multiple additional fields added to the default K2 field list.

  • A new field set is added to the K2 global configuration form via a JForm appended method (no override).

  • Form fields are appended to the K2 menu types tag and user to configure display output.

Style Override

Create a directory in the site's default template override directory as




Copy the entire style directory from libraries/cmselib/styles to the new directory

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