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Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland

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Nested Templates

Large sites may have many different sections or types of pages. Each section of the site or type of page may have its own unique look. A Frequently Asked Questions page may have distinct areas for a question, an answer, and links to further resources, while a product page may have a picture, a product description, and ordering information. You could create different templates for each type of page, but even that may be more work than necessary.

While many pages in a site may have subtle differences, they share very basic design features. The overall structure of every page, for example, may be the same: same logo, banner, and navigation bar. Even the basic layout may be the same. And there lies the problem with creating individual templates for each section. If you need to make a very basic site-wide change, such as adding a new button to the site’s overall navigation system or altering the banner, you need to edit each template individually, adding extra time, effort, and risk of making a mistake.

Fortunately, Dreamweaver MX offers a new tool to solve just this problem: nested templates. A nested template is a template you make from another template, which then becomes the master template (see Figure 18-13). To imagine this in action, think of a basic software company Web site with three sections: Support, Our Products, and Downloads. Each section has its own brand of information and specific layout needs. However, all three sections share the same banner and navigation. ...

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