Tutorial for Better Preview

There is a Free and a Pro version of Better Preview.
The parts in this tutorial that only concern the Pro version will be marked with: PRO


Better Preview is a Joomla! Administrator system plugin that gives you the ability to get a full preview of your content before you save or publish it!

Better Preview also extends the "View Site" links to give you direct links to the frontend of the page you are editing in the administrator.

Preview Button

Better Preview provides you with a Preview Button for the article you are working on.

Clicking on the button generates a modal popup with the preview of the article. See what the article will look like before saving or publishing it!

The button appears both as Editor Button and in the Toolbar. You can customize its appearance in the Better Preview system plugin settings.

Advanced View Site

Better Preview also changes the way the "View Site" link in your administrator works.

When using Better Preview, clicking on that link will go to the frontend equivalent of the page you're editing (article, category, ...).

Also, a dropdown menu will be added, displaying links to the parent pages of the current item, such as Parent Category pages when editing an article, as well as the Homepage.

The "View Site" link is extended both on the top bar of the administrator, as well as the bottom status bar. You can customize its appearance in the Better Preview system plugin settings.

With the Pro version of Better Preview, you also have the option to show the link type in the list of links (like 'Category' or 'Article'), as well as a clickable icon that shows you extra details for each URL. The extra info will display the SEF and non-SEF url of the links, which you can easily copy/paste for other uses.

Supported Components

The Free version of Better Preview supports the core components Articles, Categories, and Menu Manager.

The Pro version of Better Preview also adds support for K2 (partially) and Zoo.

Default Menu Item

When previewing the content (articles, categories...) Better Preview will try to use the most suitable menu item, based on the type of item and parent categories.

If no menu item is attached to the content, Better Preview will default to not using any active menu item to show previews in. If you want it to use a certain menu item in those cases, you canchange the Default Menu ID option in the Better Preview system plugin settings.


Better Preview is packed with options, giving you control over how it works and behaves. Here is the full list of the options you can find in the Better Preview System Plugin Settings:

View Site Options

Display Title Link Select to convert the View Site link in the Title position to the Better Preview pulldown link.
Display Status Link Select to convert the View Site link in the Status position to the Better Preview pulldown link.
Reverse Status Link Select to reverse the order of the items in the pulldown (or pullup) in the Status position.
Show Type Select to show the link type in the list of links.
Show URL Details Select to show a clickable icon in the list of links that shows you extra URL details.

Preview Button Options

Display Editor Button Select to display an editor button.
Display Toolbar Button Select to show a button in the toolbar.
Button Text This text will be shown in the Editor Button.
Button Icon Select which icon to show in the button.
Options: betterpreview , ,
Primary Button Select to give the button a primary styling.
Preview Window Width Set a fixed width in pixels for the modal popup preview window. Leave empty to use maximum width.

Advanced Options

SEF Index Timeout (hrs) The timeout in hours for the SEF Urls Index. If you experience slowness in the admin pages, increase this number.
Purge SEF Index Click to purge the SEF URLS Index.
Purge Component Cache Select to make Better Preview purge the cache of the applicable component before rendering the preview.
Open Categories as Select how to open categories by default (if no matching menu item is found)
Options: Blog, List
Default Menu ID

Select the default menu item to be used as active menu item for the url if no other matching menu id is found.

Disable on Components

Select in which frontend components NOT to enable the use of this extension.


You can either install Better Preview by using the core extension manager available in the Joomla! Administrator Control Panel, or by using the powerful Regular Labs Extension Manager.

Note: When updating Better Preview, you do not need to uninstall it first. The package will update all the files automatically.

Keep in mind that when you update to a major new version (or uninstall first), you might lose some configuration settings.

Regular Labs Extension Manager

It is very easy to install/update any Regular Labs Extension using the Regular Labs Extension Manager.

Please see the Tutorial for the Regular Labs Extension Manager for more detailed information...

Joomla! Extension Manager

To install via the Joomla! Extension Manager, just follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Joomla administrator;
  2. In the menu, choose: Extensions >> Extensions;
  3. Choose the tab: Install from Web (or enable it if you haven't done so yet);
  4. Select the search field and enter Better Preview and hit enter;
  5. Click on the Better Preview listing;
  6. Click on Install;
  7. Click on Install to confirm.
Joomla! Installer - Install from Web

Or if you need to install the Pro version or cannot install via the 'Install via Web' method for some reason:

  1. Download the extension install file (.zip);
  2. Log into your Joomla administrator;
  3. In the menu, choose: Extensions >> Extensions;
  4. Choose the tab: Upload Package File;
  5. Click on the Choose File button and select the extension zip;
  6. Click on Upload & Install.
Joomla! Installer - Upload Package File

If you have problems installing Better Preview, please try the manual installation process as described here: docs.joomla.org/Installing_an_extension