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The Featured links block is a customisable block that provides an easy way to navigate to both internal Totara pages and external sites. The main design feature is the use of customisable, image based tiles. Featured Links blocks can be added to the homepage,  Dashboards, profile pages and courses to provide a graphical navigation interface.

Featured Links Blocks are enabled by default. As with other blocks, you can go to Plugins > Blocks > Manage blocks from the Site administration menu to manage block availability.

Examples

There are many ways you can manipulate the featured links block to enhance your site.

Custom navigation

As the featured link block can be used in the header and footer areas of the site you can use it to create custom navigation. This can be done using any tile type, for example the static tile could be used to link out to external sites, such as a company website or an external HR site. 

In the example below the Totara Help, Totara Academy, and Totara Community sites have been linked as static tiles in the footer area of the site.

Featured link block as footer

Gallery tile

Below is an example of a gallery tile using course sub-tiles. Notice how it displays multiple courses in one tile, using previous and navigation and left and right arrows. 

Featured link gallery tile with previous navigation arrowFeatured link gallery tile with next navigation arrow

Adding Featured links block on a dashboard

  1. Within the Site administration menu go to Appearance > Dashboards.
  2. Create a new Dashboard or open an existing Dashboard.
  3. Turn Blocks editing on.
  4. Select the Add Block icon () in the required block region and choose Featured Links
  5. Within the Featured Link block click the Add Tile button. 
  6. Configure the settings to your preferences.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 required.
  8. Click Save changes

Adding Featured link block to the home page, profile pages or a course

  1. Go to the area you wish to add the featured link block to. 
  2. Turn editing on and select the Add Block icon () in the required block region and choose select Featured Links
  3. Within the Featured Link block click the Add tile button. 
  4. Configure the settings to your preferences.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 required.
  6. Click Save changes

Example of featured link block with the add tile button

Tile settings 

When you click the Add tile button in a deatured links block there are a number of settings you can configure as listed below. Additionally, there are also specific settings depending on which tile type you choose and these have been separated out into their own sections to make it easier to read. 

Setting

Description

Notes

Tile type

Three tile types are available (more tile types may be added in future).

-
Position of the tileDecide where the tile will appear in the overall order of tiles in the block. So for example choosing 1 would mean it was the first tile and choosing 5 would make it the fifth tile. Alternatively, Tile positions can be dragged and dropped when viewing the Featured links block with Block editing on.

-

Heading locationChoose from Top or Bottom.

-

Background colourUse the colour picker to choose your desired background colour from a wide range.

-

You can also click the cog icon () to configure the block settings. Decide the block title, tile size (large, medium, or small), tile shape (square, portrait, landscape, or full width), and add an manual ID. You can also configure common block settings.

Static tile settings 

As well as the generic featured link block settings, if you select the static tile type you will have these additional settings:

Setting

Description

Notes

URLsURLs can be full names (e.g http://www.sitename.com), partial names (e.g sitename.com), or local (for addresses on this Totara Learn site). Local URLs should start with a slash ( / ) as this ensures the link will continue to work if the site's URL changes. When used, a local URL will have the site's web address added.

-

Open link in new tabTick to open the URL in a new tab.

-

Image appearanceChoose between Fill tile and Fit inside tile.

-

TitleThis is the title for the tile.

-

DescriptionYou can optionally include a description.

-

Image

The images displayed will be square so it is recommended that you upload a square image. Some approximate sizes: small 150x150, medium 200x200, large 350x350. Accepted image types are .jpg, .png, .gif and .svg.

-

Alternative textProvide alternative information for this image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader).

Mandatory when no Title or Description is provided, otherwise optional but recommended.

Gallery tile settings 

As well as the generic featured link block settings, if you select the gallery tile type you will have these additional settings (see also editing gallery tile content):

Setting

Description

Notes

Transition

Choose from Fade and Slide.

-
Order

Can be either Random or Sequential.

-
Controls

Select either:

  • Prev/Next: Arrows on side of tile.
  • Position indicator: Dots at the bottom.
-
Autoplay

Whether the gallery tile should automatically move.

-
Repeat

If the tile should go back to the start when it gets to the end.

-
Pause on hover

Tick so that when hovering over the tile it will stop moving.

-
Interval (seconds)The time in seconds between the background image switching. An interval of 0 means no transitions. Values between 0 and 1 will be rounded up to 1.

-

Course tile settings 

As well as the generic featured link block settings, if you select the static tile type you will have these additional settings:

Setting

Description

Notes

Course nameClick the Select course button to browse or search available courses to add.

-

Show progressTick this to also show course progress on the tile.

-

Program tile settings 

As well as the generic featured link block settings, if you select the static tile type you will have these additional settings:

Setting

Description

Notes

Program nameClick the Select program button to browse or search available programs to add.

-

Show progressTick this to also show course progress on the tile.

-

Certification tile settings 

As well as the generic featured link block settings, if you select the static tile type you will have these additional settings:

Setting

Description

Notes

Certification nameClick the Select certification button to browse or search available certifications to add.

-

Show progressTick this to also show course progress on the tile.

-

Configuring featured links block

In addition to the standard or Common block settings there are a number of configurable options specific to the Featured links block. 

Configure option for featured link block

SettingDescriptionNotes

Sets the size of the tile. Choose from:

  • Large
  • Medium
  • Small
-
Tile shape

Sets the shape of the tile. Choose from:

  • Square
  • Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Full width
-
An ID that is applied to the block, this is so it can be used by themes.-

If you choose to add a gallery type tile then you will be able to edit the sub-tiles for the gallery. Sub-tiles can be certification, course, static, or program tiles and contain all of the settings optios for each of these specific tile types (as described above).

When you first save the gallery tile type you will have the chance to add content by clicking Add tile, configuring the tile you want and repeating those steps until you are done and click Finished editing

Adding content to a gallery tile

However if you wish to edit the content or add additional content later then you can do so by following the steps below. Note these steps assume you have already created the gallery tile, if you have not then please do this first. 

  1. Click the cog icon (Block configuration cog icon) for the tile and select Edit content
  2. To add new content click the Add tile button and configure the sub-tile you want.
  3. Click Save changes
  4. To edit an existing tile click the cog icon (Block configuration cog icon) for that tile and then make your desired change. 
  5. Click Save changes
  6. Repeat the steps above until you are done.
  7. Click Finished editing

Selecting the Edit content option for a gallery tile

When editing content you can edit the content as described in the steps above, you can also hide a sub-tile or delete it by clicking the relevant option from the sub-tile's configuration menu.

Sub-tile configuration options

On this page


The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Dashboards and basic theming in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to customise your site's appearance, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?


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