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:
7439 sites
155 fans
Current versions available: 20

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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  • Thu, May 10, 2018, 9:51 PM

    We've recently upgarded to Moodle 3.3 from 2.7, and had to use this plug in. Sadly it has failed on some courses where the grid is still there, but when clicked on the content doesnt appear and isnt listed below when editing mode is turned on. It doesnt do it on all courses just the odd few, anyone come across this before?

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, May 10, 2018, 10:06 PM
    Hi Felicity,

    No I have not come across this before. Are there any errors in the php.log file and does the content come back if you switch to the Topics format.

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, May 10, 2018, 10:07 PM
    P.S. Do you have the backup you made before the upgrade of the affected courses so that you can restore them?
  • Thu, May 10, 2018, 10:54 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    When we change back to any other course format (Topics & Buttons etc) all the content and all the files return. I had to change a course back to topics this morning due to the grid playing up and recently changed it back to grid to test and it seems to correct its self, but that isn't the case for all courses. We are looking into the php.log file (not entirely sure if it has been on) and will get back to you about that.

  • Fri, May 11, 2018, 3:26 PM
    [Thu May 10 15:55:44 2018] [error] [client] Default exception handler: Can not find data record in database table course. Debug: SELECT id,category FROM {course} WHERE id IS NULL\n[array (\n)]\nError code: invalidrecord\n* line 1533 of /lib/dml/moodle_database.php: dml_missing_record_exception thrown\n* line 1509 of /lib/dml/moodle_database.php: call to moodle_database->get_record_select()\n* line 6657 of /lib/accesslib.php: call to moodle_database->get_record()\n* line 1085 of /course/format/lib.php: call to context_course::instance()\n* line 2435 of /course/format/grid/lib.php: call to format_base->inplace_editable_render_section_name()\n* line 93 of /course/format/grid/renderer.php: call to format_grid->inplace_editable_render_section_name()\n* line 1082 of /course/format/grid/renderer.php: call to format_grid_renderer->section_title()\n* line 500 of /course/format/grid/renderer.php: call to format_grid_renderer->make_block_topics()\n* line 249 of /course/format/grid/format.php: call to format_grid_renderer->print_multiple_section_page()\n* line 280 of /course/view.php: call to require()\n, referer: https://****************/course/view.php?id=924

    Hi Gareth, see above for error (* are removed URL)

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, May 11, 2018, 6:12 PM
    Dear Felicity,

    I suspect that the upgrade or something else (not to do with the format) has corrupted the 'course' field in the 'course_sections' table in the database. Do any records have 'null' for this field?

  • Thu, May 17, 2018, 4:38 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    I think we found a little error. We are translating the plugin to catalan and we found out the same language string in two different places:

    In settings there is sectiontitleboxinsideposition and sectiontitleboxposition that have the same string identificator in the help (sectiontitleboxposition_help | format_grid: Set the position of the section title within the grid box to one of: 'Inside' or 'Outside'.)

    It could be sectiontitleboxinsideposition_help | format_grid:
    Set the position of the section title when 'Inside' the grid box to one of: 'Top', 'Middle' or 'Bottom'.

    I hope you could understand my explanation.

    Thank you!
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, May 18, 2018, 1:12 AM
    Thanks Marga, there will be a fix in the next release, so likely to be version
  • Fri, May 18, 2018, 6:57 AM
    After I upgraded to 3.4 I can"t see the pctures in the grid
  • Fri, May 18, 2018, 8:33 PM
    I want to show my courses name in grid format on front page. I have installed this plugin but the grid view is not showing on front page its showing on the course content . I want to show my courses name in grid format not course content - . Please advice
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, May 18, 2018, 10:29 PM
    Dear Irith,

    Really? You've not given me any information upon which to make a deduction that there is anything wrong with the code. The upgrade process can be complicated and there is so many things that you / the system could have done wrong that don't pertain to the Grid format itself. And in light of no other reports or being able to replicate myself since M3.4 came out in Novemeber 2017, I'm inclined to think it's your system and not my code.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, May 18, 2018, 10:32 PM
    Dear Ashish,

    The Grid format is a 'course format' for 'courses'. The front page is a 'front page' which uses the hard coded 'site' format - therefore the Grid format cannot be applied on the front page as is. You'd have to either write some clever mark up or change the core code / implement something in a theme.
  • Thu, May 24, 2018, 10:01 AM
    Gareth: Hi. I've been sleeping a little trying to do something like this:
    I'm using the lambda theme. I can't get that grid look for the front page with all the courses. I was trying with your plugin but dont get that result. I want to cry =(
    Do you know other way for that? Thank you very much
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, May 25, 2018, 12:15 AM
    Dear Carlos,

    Please read my reply to Ashish above your comment.

  • Wed, Aug 22, 2018, 11:38 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    I have noticed that when I use the grid format with the Boost theme, the left navigation draw, in a course is much longer, it shows all the course weeks/topics (like in older themes). Boost theme using other course formats, e.g. collapsed topics, topics format or weekly format, the naw draw is short as it's supposed to be. Is this something that will be fixed or is it supposed to be like this?

    Thank you,
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