Templates, Section Pages and Content Pages

A template defines the graphical layout of a set of publication pages. That layout is stored in the template section's active page. Its top-level structure consists of a set of areas representing the publication's overall graphical structure. The default set of areas used in the demo publication delivered with the Widget Framework consists of the following areas: Outer, Header, Top, Main, Aside, Bottom and Footer. It also has a special area called Meta, which is used to hold "invisible" widgets."Invisible" widgets affect how pages work in some way, but do not occupy any physical space on the page.

The exact physical position, shape and size of these areas is configurable - they are entirely determined by CSS and may be device-dependent - but they will usually look something like this:

Each of these areas may have an internal structure of groups and areas. The Main area of a section, for example, might have a Top Stories group and a Featured Stories group, each holding content items whose teasers are to be placed in the main area of the page.

The physical shape, position and size of groups and areas are not shown when editing templates in Content Studio:


The names of the groups and areas created within each top-level area, do however, usually describe some of their physical characteristics (Two column and Three column groups, for example).

The section pages on which journalists and editors desk their stories in Content Studio have a very different structure from the template pages on which they are based. A typical section page has only one top-level area called ContentArea, which is subdivided into logical groups that have no direct relationship with physical page layout. These groups have names like Top stories, Featured stories, Main, Carousel and so on:


There is, in other words, no direct correspondence between the groups on a section page and the groups in the templates that govern its layout. In order for a content item that has been dragged into a group on a section page to actually appear on the published page, it must be explicitly selected by one of the widgets placed in the template.

For more information about this, and about widgets in general, see Widgets.