I always found it difficult to work with template suggestions in Drupal. I'm trying to override those files (html.tpl.php, page.tpl.php, region.tpl.php) for a given url (mysite.com/user-export). So I found this function:

function MYTHEMENAME_process_page(&$variables) {
if (module_exists('path')) {
    $alias = drupal_get_path_alias(str_replace('/edit', '', $_GET['q']));
    if ($alias != $_GET['q']) {
        $template_filename = 'page';
        foreach (explode('/', $alias) as $path_part) {
            $template_filename = $template_filename . '__' . $path_part;
        $vars['theme_hook_suggestions'][] = $template_filename;

That seemed to work pretty well, I created a file named page--user-export.tpl.php to override the page.tpl.php file and it worked. However, at some point I removed that function, and the template overriding was still working! So I guess in some cases we need to create a function in template.php, and in some other cases, the overriding is done automatically without having to create a function.

So my question is: When to use template suggestions ?

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


page--internal-path is already defined by Drupal core as a theme hook suggestion, so adding your own version of it won't really have any effect (just as then removing that version won't have any effect).

You can see a full list of the core-implemented hook suggestions on the Drupal 7 Theme Hook Suggestions page.

The simple answer to the question is that you need to provide your own template suggestions when you require that functionality, and Drupal's core system, or a contributed module, haven't already provided the overrides for you.

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