The State of Drupal 8: Toolbar, Inline Editing, Languages


Over the last few months, we’ve been covering the Drupal community’s progress towards releasing Drupal 8.

Our last update was a month ago. I explained that the core file structure had changed, plus there were over 15 new modules including Views.

Since that update, the first major deadline has arrived. Feature freeze was in the beginning of December, although that deadline slipped a little, and we can still expect new features until February.

However, lots of great new features have arrived in the last month, and so let’s take another look at the state of Drupal 8.


Drupal 8 has a new toolbar that’s considerably shorter and more concise than anything we’ve seen in previous versions. The toolbar also includes icons for the first time.


The main navigation elements that you’d expect to see in Drupal are now under the “Menu” tab. The terminology is almost the same as Drupal 7, except that “Modules” has been replaced by “Extend”.


This toolbar is mobile-ready:


On mobile screens, the sub-links move to the sidebar. This sidebar menu is available as an option for desktop users too.


Inline Editing

One of the most exciting new features in Drupal 8 is inline editing. Whenever you’re on any content page, click “Edit” in the toolbar.


You’ll see that your content elements are highlighted:


Click any element and you’ll see it pop out of the page:


You’ll be able to edit the save the content directly from your current page:


Currently this editing is available only for content fields. I presume it may later be extended to allow the editing of content titles and other elements.

Contact Form

Presumably to help make Drupal more friendly for entry-level site builder, the Contact form module is now enabled by default:


You can add fields to the form so it will be quick and easy to expand the contact forms:


Cleaner Interfaces

One thing I haven’t heard mention, but that struck me in Drupal 8, was that a lot of interfaces have been cleaned up.

In Drupal 7, screens like this contain at least 4 links for each content type.


The same was true with the menu screens. Some of the links are hidden under the dropdowns on the right, but many have been removed entirelyl


The Modules / Extend screen has also been greatly simplified.


All in all, it looks like there’s been a real effort to reduce the information overload on many of these screens.

Language Translation

Three new language translation modules have been added to Drupal 8:


Inside Configuration > Languages, you can quickly click and Add languages.

At the moment, because Drupal 8 is still in development, the admin interface still needs to be translated manually, hence the 0/300 score in the image below.


The Drupal core will now automatically attempt to detect the language preferences of both visitors and administrators:


Every time you want to translate something, you need to give explicit permission. For example, if you want to translate a content type, you first need to edit that content type and enable translations.


Then you need to enable translations for each field within that content type:


Once that’s done, you’ll see a Translations tab on content items:


Translations also appear in the contextual links:


Once you click either of these links you’ll get a translation screen like the one below:


The translation screen for each language looks exactly like the screen for your default language.



  • 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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Wim Leers
Wim Leers
11 years ago

Regarding the in-place editing of titles: that will become possible automatically once node/entity titles are converted to be proper fields/properties instead of the hardcoded “pseudo”/”extra” fields that they were in Drupal 7 and currently still are in Drupal 8.

11 years ago

content translation module existed in core already in drupal6 !

11 years ago

Do I understand this correctly?

For every item, and for every field / part / attribute of some content, we will have to go and enable translation for that?

Maybe I don’t understand, but wouldn’t it be more practical to enable rights to a User or a group or content in a certain area?

I have never used ML under Drupal – any version, but manual translation and management is a key issue for the sites I build.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x