Grid Format

Course formats ::: format_grid
Maintained by Gareth J BarnardGareth J Barnard
A modular and visual course format. Hides all topics and creates a grid of icons (one for each topic) with short titles. Clicking on an icon brings up the content from the corresponding topic.
Latest release:
7368 sites
144 fans
Current versions available: 19

A modular and visual course format. Hides all topics and creates a grid of icons (one for each topic) with short titles. Clicking on an icon brings up the content from the corresponding topic in a "lightbox" style display.


The format comes with NO support.  Please see the 'Support' section in '' file that comes with the format.  This is because the format is complex and I regret that I don't have the time / resources to freely assist with questions pertaining to specific enhancements / changes / knowledge improvement.

I will investigate genuine bugs and issue fixes in a timescale set by myself.  When reporting issues you MUST clearly state the full version and release of both Moodle and the Grid format format as contained within their 'version.php' files - if not it takes me longer to figure out, often resulting in me asking for the details anyway and slowing the process of solving your problem down.  It really helps to upload and describe in detail the issue you are having on the 'Course formats' forum.

Screen cast:

More to follow as new icons have been added....

Privacy API support starts with V3.3.0.5 for M3.3 and V3.4.0.4 for M3.4 where the API has been implemented in the minor release of Moodle.


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Gareth J Barnard
Gareth J Barnard (Lead maintainer): Maintainer
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  • Picture of S Chow
    Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 12:56 AM
    I was wondering if anyone knows whether the Grid format meets WCAG 2.1 AA standards? Also in my old company we were told that using a screen reader with grid was problematic as the screen reader read the main Moodle site prior to reading the pop up window with the topic contents. Can anyone confirm if this is the case and if so has it been fixed in newer versions?

    I don't mean to sound negative because I really like this format and would like to use it but need to ensure accessibility for my students.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 1:04 AM
    I don't know as not checked in a while. Please do test it and if there are issues I'll try my best to address them. I've added in keyboard control and changed things in the past. Screen readers are expensive! There is a free one, but to be honest I don't know what I'm doing with it or could work out in this respect if something is wrong or not. There does seem to be a lot of conflicting information out there and 'best practice' has not really been established.

    If you tell me that element X needs ARIA attribute Y then that can be a great help.
  • Picture of Osama Eisa
    Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 7:16 PM
    Hi Gareth smile
    I have a moodle version 3.4.1 build (20180115) and when I hover on it it shows (2017111301), I tried to install format_grid version 3.4, but it didn't work ?
    what version should I use, and excuse me as I am still beginner in moodle.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 7:59 PM
    Dear Osama,

    Please post on so we can work things through there.

  • Picture of fardin amiri
    Thu, May 30, 2019, 10:52 PM
    Dear Gareth,

    Hope you can help with our query.

    Moodle was upgraded in our site from 3.2 to 3.6 and therefore this plugin was also updated from the 3.2 version to 3.6.

    Since the upgrade and update, accessing some of the courses in Grid course format gives the below error message and therefore the grid cannot be viewed;
    'Cannot convert uploaded image to displayed image...'

    Removing the section images from the course in the database helps resolve the issue, albeit the images need to be re-uploaded. With hundreds of courses, this would take too long to resolve one by one.

    What would you suggest we do to resolve the issue for all courses?

    Many thanks,

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, May 30, 2019, 11:22 PM
    Dear Fardin,

    I don't know why or how that it has happened. Can you tell me please:

    The exact error in the php log file.
    If for the given file in the files table with the given 'itemid' that there is or is not an 'image' entry of the same file name for the 'sectionid' in the 'format_grid_icon_table'.
    How did you perform the upgrade? Did you transpose the database? Use the same database? Uninstall and reinstall Grid? What 'exact' process did you follow?
    Did you perform a trial run of the upgrade on a test server first?

    Please make a post with replies on the 'Courses and course formats' forum:

    Depending on your answers might lead to a new custom script (which will take me some time to write) or another solution. But it all depends on the more information that you give me.

    I cannot tell you want to do for the best at the moment without the new information.

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, May 30, 2019, 11:25 PM
    P.S. Is the GD PHP extension installed on the new M3.6 system?
  • Picture of fardin amiri
    Mon, Jun 3, 2019, 10:15 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    The php.log file does not show any error

    Putting the site on debugging mode displays the following errors on the course page:

    line 494 of /lib/setuplib.php: moodle_exception thrown
    line 2302 of /course/format/grid/lib.php: call to print_error()
    line 849 of /course/format/grid/renderer.php: call to format_grid->setup_displayed_image()
    line 392 of /course/format/grid/renderer.php: call to format_grid_renderer->make_block_icon_topics()
    line 257 of /course/format/grid/format.php: call to format_grid_renderer->print_multiple_section_page()
    line 280 of /course/view.php: call to require()

    We have only upgraded the test server and we haven't pushed it to live just yet until we have resolved all issues. We are using the same database. For the upgrade, Moodle was upgraded first and then the plugins updated individually. Nothing was uninstalled and then reinstalled.

    Many thanks


  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 4:19 AM
    Dear Fardin,

    Thank you for the information, however I still require as requested originally:

    If for the given file in the files table with the given 'itemid' that there is or is not an 'image' entry of the same file name for the 'sectionid' in the 'format_grid_icon' table.

    Also when you did the upgrade first on Moodle, was the format installed at the time? If so, was this the old or new version? By 'same database' i.e. was the 'format_grid_icon' table always there.
    If you did not uninstall / reinstall the format then how did you update it? What instructions did you follow?

    And..... Please make a post with replies on the 'Courses and course formats' forum: - so not HERE!

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Phuong Duong
    Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 6:36 AM
    Hi Gareth,

    Firstly thank you for your wonderful work!
    I had a question about how Grid/Moodle handles the images for the Grids. Eg. I have a large 1920x1409 jpg image and I use it as a Grid image. Does the user download the full sized image each time they load the page or are they downloading a smaller resized jpg?


  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 8:29 PM
    Hi Phuong,

    The format takes the uploaded image and resizes it according to the settings.

  • Picture of MD. SABBIR HOSSAIN
    Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 12:52 PM
    moodle version 3.5 and gride version 3.5 have some error issue "editimage.php page is not loading ... can anyone please help me. thanks in advance.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 9:04 PM
    Dear Sabbir,

    Sorry, not enough information to tell as I don't know what the error is.

  • Picture of petter velly
    Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 8:12 PM
    hey everyone,

    I wanna know that can we start activity directly by click on course grid without going to another quiz pages. I want to create a button in course grid card and show here a attempt button, if course is already done by user than review button. Is it possible ??
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Sun, Jun 7, 2020, 8:30 PM
    Dear Petter,

    The format comes with no support. Please post on

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