In the Manage Displays page for a Content Type there is a link 'Add display mode'. Using this I can name and configure an alternative display mode but I cannot find how to use this instead of the default. Can the machine name be used as part of a URL?

I have looked in our manual at 'Deep dive: Display Settings' but cannot find the answer there. Also it confused me regarding 'display mode' and 'view mode' - are these the same thing?


Sorry for the slow response. I didn't have a quick answer for you at the time, but I'll take a stab at it now.

First of all, you are not the only one that is confused by the terms 'display mode' and 'view mode.'

The most common way that users use different display modes is when using views. I can display a view of my "post" nodes using any custom display mode. 

Here is an example of me using a display mode I named "custom" (I should have thought of something better) instead of the default which would have been "teaser":

If you are able and interested in creating custom templates, you can create custom templates for any display mode, just by naming the template correctly. 

If I create a custom template for my custom display mode, views will use that custom template including whatever custom mark-up I have included. 

Some other display modules might ask you which type of display you want to use for your nodes and you can choose between 'default', 'teaser', or whichever 'custom' display mode you have created.

I know there are many situations where you might have this choice, but I'm not thinking of them right now. Certainly, in your custom code you might want to call or use a custom display for nodes.

Views is by far the most common use case, I think. 

OK, I almost missed the great use of display modes for Backdrop CMS. 

In Layouts, you can create a custom blocks that will display the node contents using whichever display mode you prefer. So you could override the normal display of "post" nodes with a block that uses your preferred custom display. 

If you need additional help understanding how to do this, let me know. But, this would be a common and powerful use case with Backdrop CMS. 

Thanks stpaultim for both these examples - I hope your excellent explanations can now be included in our manual. I have been building sites with Backdrop for 4 years now and have never yet made use of this 'Display Mode' way of creating custom displays, so it's great to learn a new option.