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Filters are a new, optional feature introduced in OpenCart v. 1.5.5 to the Catalog tab. They are used to group together designated products, which then can be mapped to specific layout pages in the store front. This feature gives the store owner more control over what products are viewed by their customers in the front office, compared to the traditional OpenCart search options.

Creating a New Filter and Filter Group

To create a new filter, click Insert. You will be directed to a form asking for the following information about your new Filter Group. 

Each filter group can contain multiple filter names, which can then be sorted according to your preference. The sorting of the filter name affects the order of the filters as seen in the store front. 

The filter groups and subsequent filter names can be anything that relates a group of products together. This gives you the added customization of determining which products can be viewed in different layouts and pages for your store front. The filter group above is designated to cookies, and the filter names include cookie types. Later we will link these filters to the dessert products in our store. 

Enabling Your Filters

In order to make use of the Filter feature, the Filter module must be enabled under Modules, and mapped to a layout. For this example, filters will now be mapped to the Category Layout in the right column of the page. 

In order to make filters active to a specific category, the filter must be mapped to the category's Data tab. In addition, any products you want to be linked through the filter must be added in the Links tab when editing a product. Products are linked through selecting a Filter Group > Filter Name.

The image below shows the result of the Cookies > Chocolate Chip filter name being linked to the Cookie Mix and Heart Cookies products. Since this particular filter group was mapped to the Desserts category, as well as all filters being mapped to Categories in general, we can see the Refine Search box in the right column of the image below. When the customer checks one of the filter names and clicks "Refine Search", they will be redirected to the Desserts category page with all the products linked to that filter. 



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