Clean Up the Drupal Content Form


Drupal comes with a lot of options. For some users, all those options can be overwhelming.

One of our members asked for our advice on cleaning up the content form so that only the essential options remained.

Here are three steps to clean up your Drupal content form:

Step #1. Remove the Overlay

The overlay / lightbox that contain the Drupal admin screens can be confusing for users because it radically changes the look and feel of the screen

Removing the overlay is the easiest change of all. Simply go to Modules and uncheck the box next to the Overlay module:

You can also control who sees the overlay on a more granular basis via People > Permissions > Overlay.

Step #2. Remove the options underneath the content

By default, the Drupal content form provides several options. These may confuse ordinary users.


One way to disable these options is with the Jammer module:

  • Install Jammer and enable the Jammer module. Check at least the “Content Form Jammer” box.
  • Go to Configuration > Jammer
  • You’ll be able to remove options from different content types:

One thing to note about Jammer is that it does not work for the default admin account (User 1). You will need another account to test it in action.

If you do have problems removing all the options, go to People > Permissions and check the Jammer options on that screen:


Step #3. Improve the Layout

Often if you create a long content form, it can be hard for users to navigate:


There are several modules that can re-design the content form, but we recommend Display Suite for beginners.

  • Install and enable Display Suite. Make sure to check the “Display Suite Forms” box.
  • Go to Structure > Display Suite
  • Click Manage form next to the content type you want to control.
  • At the bottom of the screen, select a layout.
  • Click Save.
  • You’ll now be able to drag-and-drop your fields into your new layout.

You can find out more about Display Suite in our full video class.

At this end of this process, you should have a content form that takes up less space and contains less clutter:



  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

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10 years ago

ad Step #1. (Remove Overlay): indeed, Overlay is overkill.

ad Step #2. (Remove options): the options are only shown if the user has permissions. There are module that assigne permissions per option.

ad Step #3. (Improve Layout): the Field_Group module give you options to group field in hor/vert tabs (collapsible) fieldsets, etc.Much easier then the other options – it is all in the Field Admin UI.

10 years ago
Reply to  johnv

Thanks johnv. Two great ideas there.
Here’s a link to the Field Group module for interested people: [url=]…[/url]

9 years ago
Reply to  johnv

Regarding step #2 – I guess, you mean “Override Node Options” module!?


10 years ago

Actually, i got used to the overlay. A kind of “zen-mode” where you focus on the work 😉 Frankly I like it for content authors. Also for site builders and configuration tasks, because many tasks have multiple screens(tabs) with zillion parameters. Often an inner second level menu. For simple “Seven” theme it can be useful, IMHO. Maybe modern themes like Ember don’t need it that much.
Thanks for headsup about “Jammer”. Didn’t know it.

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