Navigation templates

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Templates are super clones that work behind the scenes saving you time, effort and create a professional look and feel for your content in WikiEducator.

Image courtesy of Enygmatic-Halycon
Templates are used to duplicate the same content across more than one page. You can change a template in one place and it will immediately propagate to all the pages that use it. Templates are ideal for creating navigational aids for structured content.

Templates often look like text boxes with a different background color from that of normal text. The box at the top of this page is actually a template used to help you navigate through this tutorial. You were also introduced to wiki pedagogical templates in Tutorial 9 which we use to assist with the layout of educational elements in our content.

Advantages of templates

  • They promote a professional and consistent look and feel for your content in the wiki;
  • Templates save time and effort, because they can be reused across many pages without the need to reenter complicated syntax;
  • Should a change be required on all your pages using a specific template, you only need to make the change in one place;
  • The content entries in templates use the same wiki syntax for formatting so you can build on your existing knowledge;
  • Templates put the power of creativity and innovation in the hands of the users -- WikiEducator is not a closed content management system.

Disadvantages of templates

  • Templates require more advanced wiki skills to set up, however WikiEducator has developed a number of templates and tools to help you with this process;
  • If someone unknowingly starts editing an existing template for their own specific project, the changes will be effected on all pages using the template. Therefore, we recommend that you do not edit existing templates in the wiki -- but rather create new ones for your own projects.

Templates are different

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Self Assessment

  • How do I know when a page is a template page?
  • In what ways are templates different from standard wiki pages?

Templates are special pages in the wiki that are defined by creating pages with "Template:" in front of the page name. In wiki "language", we call this the template namespace to distinguish these special pages from the main wiki namespace.

For example, take a look at template on this page Template:WET11a_NavTemps and you will see that preface of the page is "Template:" indicating that the page is in the template namespace. This template can be included on any page in the wiki by including the syntax {{WE RTE T11a navigation templates}} on the wiki page. In other words including the name of the template between two "curly braces" ({{Name_of_template_goes_here}}). Every page with that tag in it will display the navigation block that you can see at the top of this page. You can try this out in your sandbox on your user page.

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The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate how the content and layout features contained in an existing template can be replicated on any page in the wiki.
  • Go to your sandbox you created on your userpage;
  • Insert the following syntax {{WE RTE T11a navigation templates}} in your sandbox and click on the save button.
  • After trying this example -- you can delete the syntax from your sandbox.

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  • WET11a_NavTemps is the name of the template used for the navigation template for this tutorial
  • You will see that the same navigation is replicated in your sandbox without the need to enter all the information required for the layout of the template.