All pages in the default portal site for Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 refer to and use a template to display content. This template, called an area template, determines the layout and style of the page while leaving control of the content to a broader set of portal site users. For example, as a content manager, when you create a custom template you define the layout and style by using zones and Web Parts on the Web Parts Page. After the template is applied to the area page, content appears through the Web Parts.
By editing the details of an area, you can select a different template to use for the area. You can also create a custom template to use, or choose to share a template with another area page. When you share a template with another area page, only the area properties and content associated with the area differ. The layout and style, including Web Parts, stay the same.
By default, new area pages use a template based on the parent area page. You can also choose to share the existing template for the parent area. To make an area use a different area template, edit the settings of the area.
Change the template an area uses
Edit an area
Change the primary navigation areas