Creating a Template (Detailed Instructions)

Note:  Creating templates requires specific permissions.  If you want to create a template and do not have the appropriate permissions, please contact Cathy Langlais (cllangla, x4204).

If  you want to have certain information appear on every page in your site or subsite, you may want to create a template to use when creating those pages.  Every element you put on the template (in the table of contents or the content well) will subsequently appear on pages that are created with that template.  Changes or updates only need to be made on the template, instead of on every page individually. 

To create a new template, first create a new page in the site or subsite where the template will reside or navigate to the page that you wish to turn into a template.  You can choose any template from the Template Gallery to create this page, including another Colby custom template.  If this is your first template, you may want to start with the simple 1 x 1 base template. 


When you are in Author mode on the page from which you will create the template:

  1. Click on the Page & Template Management icon and select Save as Template.

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The Save As Template Dialogue box will open:


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There are two options:

  • Convert the current page to a template.

  • Copy the current page to a template and change its inheritance to derive from the new template.

    If you are just creating a template to which you will add elements later, choose the first option, “Convert the current page to a template.”

    If you have a page that you have been working on, and you would like the page to remain as a page, in addition to being the base for a new template, choose the second option, to copy the current page as a template.  The page will continue to exist, but now be shown to have been created from the new template.  Any changes that are made to the template will also be reflected on this page.

NOTE:  If you convert the current page to a template, the page that you have created or selected will no longer exist as a page, and will only exist as a template.

Click on Next.

The Save Current Page as a Template dialogue box will open.


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  • The Template Name field will be used to create the URL.  CommonSpot will add    template-   in front of whatever you enter here.

NOTE: The name is also used as the title in the content well and the title bar caption and will be displayed as the name of the template in the Template Gallery. These can be changed under Page Properties, once the template is created.

  • The Description field should include the purpose or intended use of the template.  This text will appear beneath the name of the template in the Template Gallery.

Click on Finish.


A window will open confirming the creation of your template. 


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Click on OK to view the new template.


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Similar to regular pages, you can view and change the properties of your template.  Under the Page & Template Management icon, select Page Properties to display the Template Properties window.  It will look like this:


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This is where you would change the title for the content well and Template Gallery, if you would like to do that.  (See the note above related to template name.)


Any templates you create will appear in the My Templates category at the bottom of the Template Gallery window:


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In addition, depending on the template security configuration, they may appear in another category in the Template Gallery.  In order for your template to appear in the Template Gallery for any users, you must submit the template for public use.  Under the Page & Template Management icon, select Submit Template for Public Use.

To see select the category where the template will appear, open the Page (Template) Properties dialogue box (under the Page & Template Management icon) and see what Category is selected in that drop-down menu.


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In this case, in the Administrative Templates category, you would see your template:


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You may now begin adding elements to the template's table of contents or the content well.  Items added in the content well will appear at the top of the content well on any pages created with that template.


Before you activate your template, you should configure security and inheritance properties for your template.  Click here for more information.


Adding a Link List to the Table of Contents (TOC)

To add a link list (similar to those in the toc on this page), click on "Click to insert new element" in the toc.

  1. From the element gallery, open the Hyperlink Elements category and click on Link Bar.


  1. Define the links for your list.


  1. Click on Close when you have defined your links.  You will see this:

  2. Click on the Edit Link Bar Properties icon (the icon with three lines)just about the link bar.

  3. At the top of the menu, click on Custom Render Handlers.

Select Manual TOC Entry and click on Next.


  1. The page will reload and your links will appear indented, with arrows, below a dotted line.


  2. To add a header above the dotted line, click on the Edit Link Bar Properties icon and select Layout Properties.


In the "Before Label" text box, type in your heading. 


  1. If you would like your heading to be a link, enter the complete URL in the "After Label" text box.
  2. Click on Finish.  Your page will reload and the link list will look like this:


  3. Publish your changes.