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Page Templates

The Templates introduction discusses the built-in templates and how to access them.  Here we discuss the use of a template page and how to make new pages based on that. Your template page may well be based on one of the built-in templates, with modification to suit your site. Topics we cover here are:

Choose your template page
Mark up your template page
Designating a Master Page (optional)
Making the page copies
After a page copy ...


However you start off, after you have built the first page for a new website, you will find there are some features that you will want to use in subsequent pages for the same site. These are features like logo, banner, navigation, or copyright information -- things that give your pages a consistent look and feel.

You can probably think of several ways you might copy certain objects onto a new page, but they are almost certainly more work than the built-in method -- page templates.

The steps involved in using a page template are these:

Choose your template page

A template is a page with all the objects that you want to copy when making a fresh page. It can be a regular page from your site -- pick one that does not have many extra objects that you don't want to copy! 

You may wish to make a special template page which has only those objects to be copied. This page can still be part of your project, but just one that there aren't any links to. So nobody apart from you will ever see it.
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Page copy methods
Mark up your template page

So, you have selected your template page.

The Object Editor > Components tab, has a useful box where you can set the Page Copy Method of each object on the page. To prepare your template page, go through each object on the page, marking the Page Copy Method of each one.

Copy is the default, so if you do nothing, the object will just be copied to the new page. Like any other copy, it is completely independent of the original object.

: You want this object shared on a new page but you will want its position to be different. A good example of this is a copyright notice at the foot of the page. You want the text to be shared across pages, so that if you change the date in any one clone, it changes in all clones. But because your pages vary in length, you want to be able to position the text to suit the length of the page.

  You want this object shared on a new page and you want its position to be the same on all pages. If you change it on any one page, even only its position, it will change on all pages. An included object has the same link as all its included sisters. A good example of this is a company logo you want always at the top left of the page.

: Use Private for anything you don't want copied to the new page. You may have text on the template page that you don't want to appear on the new page. A quick way to make a whole bunch of objects private is to put them into a permanent group and mark the group private.

See also: Object Copies, Clones, Includes

Setting a Master Page
Designating a Master Page (optional)

In the Page Editor > Page Select tab is a checkbox marked Master Page. This operates on the current page like this:
The added new page is separate from the Master -- there is no linkage between the two after copying. That is, changing the Master Page will not affect the copy or vice versa. The exception is in the clones and includes -- any changes you make to one can be reflected in the twins.

You can have only one designated Master Page per project, but you can change it at any time. You can still have multiple template pages in a project -- but only one Master.

There is a designated Master Page for this project -- the index page.
Page Editor Button
Button: new page
Making the page copies

There are a number of ways you can copy a page, whether or not it is the Master:

Click the "Add New Page" button
Ha! this is so easy, it hardly needs to be in a tutorial. But you must have designated a Master Page beforehand; otherwise you will get just a new blank page.

Use the "Copy and Paste Page" buttons
Use this method to copy any page:
Use the Page menu
At the top of your workpage on the menu bar is a Page menu which duplicates the functions of the buttons just discussed.

After a page copy ...

The copy options allow you to copy any page -- you don't need to have marked it up as a template beforehand. But if you do have things to include or clone on a new page, it is much easier to do it with a template.

The copied page has a new name and opens ready for you to start work on it. We suggest the first things you do now are:
Button: new page
Buttons: copy and paste page