dropdown-categoryCategories are a way to sort out your articles into groups. By doing so, you can easily filter your articles in the article list by their Category.

Categories are a way to display your Articles in a Menu by selecting a Category Blog Menu Item Type. This selection either shows a group of Intros that give the user a teaser of the Article and a link to the complete article OR you can have the Menu Item show the entire group of Articles in a Category OR a select few Articles in a category with a list of all of the other Articles at the bottom.

Another way for a Menu Item to use a Category List Menu Item Type option which creates a list of all the Articles in that Category by their titles - which then link to the entire Article. 

To create a Category, go to Category Manager under the Content dropdown menu.

Category Details Tab

The Category Detail tab requires only that you to enter the Title to save the Category.  Joomla will fill in the alias, if you do not enter something in the box.  The Description Text Editor is a place where you can enter an introduction for the Category.  This introduction will appear if you create a Menu Item Type of Category List or Category Blog and if it is set for Display Description in the Options.

Details

On the right side are the Details that you can set for the description. The Parent is there so that you can put the Category in a Subcategory.  The Status selection is for Publish, Unpublish, Archived or Trashed. These options are also available on the Category Manager list of Categories. You can set the Access Level for the Category so that only certain User Groups can view the Category.  And you can set the Language for the Category.

Publishing Options Tab

This simply gives you some information on the Joomla ID for the Category, the number of Hits and who Created the Category.  These boxes are greyed out and you cannot change the information.

Basic Options Tab

This gives you the option of a layout that is different from the default layout if you have created one.  You can select an Image for the Category and add Note.

Metadata Options Tab

You can enter information for the <meta> tags in the <head> section of your webpage here for the entire Category.  If you select a Category Blog or Category List Menu Item, this metadata will appear in the Surce Code for that web page. 

Category Permissions Tab

Here you can set the permissions for Create, Delete, Edit, Edit State, and Edit Own for the different User Groups for that Category.  This will override the Global Permissions set up in the Global Configuration for Categories set in the Article Manager Options.