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Lesson 9. Using Templates

Lesson 9. Using Templates

Whether you have a large site with many sections or multiple pages that share a common design, you can create a template to speed up the production process. By using a template, you can change or update the look of your site, changing multiple pages within a few minutes. Templates are useful when you have a team working together to build an area of the site. The Web designer can create a template, inserting placeholders for the parts of the page that can be edited. The overall design of the page remains locked.

In this lesson, you will create a template from an existing page, build other pages using that template, and modify the pages by editing the template.

The advantages of templates are best seen in two situations: when you have a section or set of pages that need to use an identical design and layout, or when a designer creates the look of the pages but content editors add the content to the pages. If you simply want pages with the same headers and footers but different layouts in between, use libraries (covered in Lesson 8). Libraries allow you to have certain elements or groups of elements repeated throughout your site, giving you more control over the layouts of the individual pages while templates enable you to make use of the same layout and design. But if you want to use the same design on several pages, use templates. For example, say you have an online catalog of your products and you want all the pages to look the same except for the product picture, description, and price. If you create a template, you can have your team build the pages and each page will look the same.

To see examples of the finished pages for this chapter, open pt_arena.html, pt_cabrillo.html, pt_reyes.html, and pt_reyes_photos.html from the Lesson_09_Templates/Completed folder.


In this lesson, you will:

  • Create a template

  • Add editable regions to the template

  • Remove editable regions from the template

  • Create optional regions

  • Insert repeating regions

  • Change the template highlight colors

  • Build multiple pages based on the template

  • Update a site by changing the template

  • Define editable tag attributes

  • Create a nested template


This lesson should take about one hour to complete.


Media Files:

Lesson_09_Templates/Images/…(all files)

Starting Files:



Completed Project:

Lesson_09_Templates/Completed…(all files)


The templates used to create the files in the Completed folder are profile_completed.dwt and profile_photos.dwt. These two files are located in the Completed/Template_Files folder, so that they will not conflict or be confused with the template files you will be creating in this lesson. The correct location for these files would be the Templates folder that will be created by Dreamweaver as you work through this lesson. If you need to use the templates for the completed files, you should move them into the Templates folder.



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