I created a block view and am having trouble controlling the out put. Theme developer tells me the candidate template file is views-view-fields.tpl.php that file doesn't look like any of the others I have worked on. I have found the only control I have over the output is through the view settings itself. Why can't I format the output like any other block or page?
In a nutshell, once you have your view fields ordered in the view itself, you would override views-view-fields.tpl.php to change the row. In there, it has something like this:
<?php foreach ($fields as $id => $field): ?> <?php if (!empty($field->separator)): ?> <?php print $field->separator; ?> <?php endif; ?> <?php print $field->wrapper_prefix; ?> <?php print $field->label_html; ?> <?php print $field->content; ?> <?php print $field->wrapper_suffix; ?> <?php endforeach; ?>
which just cycles through each of those fields and outputs them. So, if you wanted to wrap two fields in a div, you would put some logic like this in there:
<?php if ($id=="MYFIRSTFIELD"): ?> <div class="mini_text"> <?php endif; ?>
and put that before the wrapper_prefix php, and put something like this before the closing endforeach:
<?php if ($id=="MYLASTFIELD"): ?> </div> <?php endif; ?>
which would create that mini_text div you mentioned. Anyways, hope this helps, I cut and pasted and coded quickly here, but this should give you an idea of how to do it, even if there are typos in there ;)
I've experienced the same issues with my conversion from D5.x to D6.x and what I ended up doing was to install the Semantic-Views module. It allows, at a row/field level the ability to add classes to each field. Not only does this work well it is a heck of a lot easier than creating and maintaining a tpl.php file. Try it, you'll like it.