Most Web sites share a common look and feel on
almost every Web page. Typically
this is implemented via separate
files, such as for a header and footer. ASP.NET
v1.x supported this with user controls. However, you needed to reference these controls
on every page, and there
was no design-time support for seeing how the page would
look when rendered. You simply saw a gray box representing the user control.
VWD introduces a feature called Master
Pages, a flexible page-template based system that allows
you to "skin" and control the layout of your entire Web site by modifying
only one template. This type of "visual inheritance" greatly reduces the maintenance
and overall complexity of your Web site. It also gives you the type of WYSIWYG support
you would expect in the Design view.
A Master Page is a just another type of file that you add to your
has a .master extension. You can place any control that you want on a Master
Page. Every page that inherits from the Master Page will
automatically use the same controls inserted on the Master Page.
The content of a child page is placed into a ContentPlaceHolder
control. The net result is the entire format and layout of
your Web site can be maintained by changing a single file.
In this next series of lessons you will create a simple Master
Page, add new Web pages that inherit from the Master Page, and
convert existing Web pages to use the Master Page.
Additionally, you will use one of the new navigational controls in ASP.NET 2.0.
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