This article is about DisplayManagement and placement files.

Placement files

Any extension can contain an optional placement.json file providing custom placement logic.


A placement.json file contains an object whose properties are shape names. Each of these properties is an array of placement rules.

In the following example, we describe the placement for the TextField and Parts_Contents_Publish shapes.

  "TextField": [ ... ],
  "Parts_Contents_Publish" : [ ... ]

A placement rule contains two sets of data:

  • Filters
  • Defines what specific shapes are targeted.
  • Placement information
  • The placement information to apply when the filter is matched.

Currently you can filter shapes by:

  • Their original type, which is the property name of the placement rule, like TextField.
  • displayType (Optional): The display type, like Summary and Detail for the most common ones.
  • differentiator (Optional): The differentiator which is used to distinguish shape types that are reused for multiple elements, like field names.

Additional custom filter providers can be added by implementing IPlacementNodeFilterProvider.

For shapes that are built from a content item, you can filter by the following built in filter providers:

  • contentType (Optional): A single ContentType or an array of ContentTypes that content item from which the shape was built should match.
  • contentPart (Optional): A single ContentPart or an of array of ContentParts that content item from which the shape was built should contain.
  • path (Optional): A single path or an of array of paths that should match the request path.

Placement information consists of:

  • place (Optional): The actual location of the shape in the rendered zone.
  • alternates (Optional): An array of alternate shape types to add to the current shape's metadata.
  • wrappers (Optional): An array of shape types to use as wrappers for the current shape.
  • shape (Optional): A substitution shape type.
  "TextField": [
    "displayType": "Detail",
    "differentiator": "Article-MyTextField",
        "contentType": ["Page", "BlogPost"],
        "contentPart": ["HtmlBodyPart"],
        "path": ["/mypage"],

    "place": "Content",
    "alternates": [ "TextField_Title" ],
    "wrappers": [ "TextField_Title" ],
    "shape": "AnotherShape"

Placing Fields

Fields have a custom differentiator as their shape is used in many places.
It is built using the Part it's contained in, and the name of the field.
For instance, if a field named MyField would be added to an Article content type, its differentiator would be Article.MyField.
If a field named City was added to an Address part then its differentiator would be Address.City.


What is a shape?

Everything you need to know about Shapes is in this video.

Rendering a shape

You can use the <shape> tag helper to render any shape, even pass properties.

    var intValue = 1;
    var stringValue = "a";

@await DisplayAsync(await New.MyShape(Foo: 1, Bar: "a"))

<shape type="MyShape" foo="1" bar="a" />

<shape type="MyShape" prop-foo="1" bar="a" />

<shape type="MyShape" prop-foo="@intValue" prop-bar="@stringValue" />
{% assign customShape = "MyShape" | shape_new %}
{% shape_add_properties customShape my_string: "String Test 3", my_int: 1 %}
{{ customShape | shape_render }}

{% "MyShape" | shape_new | shape_properties: my_int: 3, my_string: "String Test 3" | shape_render %}

For rendering content items, you could also use the following tag helper. Note: you need to add @addTagHelper *, OrchardCore.Contents to your _ViewImports.cshtml file to load this tag helper.

<contentitem alias="alias:main-menu" display-type="Detail" />
{% contentitem alias:"alias:main-menu" display_type="Detail" %}

Manipulating shape metadata

It's possible to manipulate a shape's metadata by using the metadata tag helper as a child of the shape's tag helper. The metadata tag helper allows you to:

  • Change the display type
  • Add, remove, or clear alternates
  • Add, remove, or clear wrappers

Metadata tag helper example:

<menu alias="alias:main-menu">
    <metadata display-type="summary">
        <clear-alternates />
        <add-alternate name="Menu_Alternate1" />
        <add-alternate name="Menu_Alternate2" />
        <remove-alternate name="Menu_Alternate1" />
        <clear-wrappers />
        <add-wrapper name="Menu_Wrapper1" />
        <add-wrapper name="Menu_Wrapper2" />
        <remove-wrapper name="Menu_Wrapper2" />

Date Time shapes


Renders a Date and Time value using the timezone of the request.

Parameter Type Description
Utc DateTime? The date and time to render. If not specified, the current time will be used.
Format string The .NET format string. If not specified the long format dddd, MMMM d, yyyy h:mm:ss tt will be used. The accepted format can be found at https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/8kb3ddd4(v=vs.110).aspx

Tag helper example:

<datetime utc="@contentItem.CreatedUtc" />


Renders a relative textual representation of a Date and Time interval.

Parameter Type Description
Utc DateTime? The initial date and time. If not specified, the current time will be used.
Origin DateTime? The current date and time. If not specified, the current time will be used.

Tag helper example:

<timespan utc="@contentItem.CreatedUtc" />


3 days ago

Shape differenciators

You can find information about shape differenciators in the Templates documentation