A master page contains the page design and layout elements that you want to repeat on multiple pages in a site. Using master pages for these common elements gives your site a more consistent appearance. It also lets you create and update these elements in one place, rather than changing them on each Web page. You can use master pages to position items that must be shared by all pages, such as navigational controls, company logos, and copyright notices.
Every site has one master page by default and is stored in the Master Page and Page Layout Gallery. You can store as many master pages in the Master Page Gallery as you want, but only one master page can be selected as the default master page for a site.
You can create a new master page from scratch by using a Windows SharePoint Services-compatible Web authoring tool, such as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, or you can duplicate an existing master page which you can then edit to change just those elements that you want to be different.
If you are using Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can use the following procedure to create a site master page.
- On the Site Actions menu , point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
- On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Master pages and page layouts.
- On the Master Page Gallery page, click the arrow next to New , and then click Publishing Master Page.
- Office SharePoint Designer 2007 starts and automatically opens the Web site, and the default master page for the Web site is opened with a new name.
- Make the changes you want to the master page, click Save As, type a new name, and then click Save.
- Exit Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and return to the Master Page Gallery page.
- Check in, publish, and approve the new site master page.