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Opening the Templates Files

Once you edit the TemplatesInfo.plist file to include the file references to your new templates, you need to actually create the template files. Although it might be possible to create your own template files from scratch, the simpler method (and the way to ensure success) is to simply duplicate and modify one of the existing templates. To do this, first choose which of Apple’s (or another developer’s) templates you want to use as your initial base.

Choose a template that uses text and picture locations that you like the most (and one that uses text formatting that most closely matches what you want to use in your design). Although you can modify any of the attributes, modifying anything besides the default placeholder images and the background images is the trickiest part of creating an iWeb theme (as you’ll see shortly). Working from a base that requires the fewest number of changes will make your life a lot easier.

Open the folder that corresponds to the first template type that you want to create (such as the About Me folder). Everything described here applies to each of the template types. When you open the template folder, you’ll see the various template files (which were referenced in the TemplateInfo.plist file). Select the template that will serve as your initial base and use the Duplicate command from the Finder’s File menu to make a copy of that template. Rename the copy to match the name that you entered in the TemplateInfo.plist file.

The iWeb template files are actually packages—such as the iWeb application itself. To access the contents of a template file, Control-click it and select Show Package Contents (as you did with the iWeb application). After you do, you’ll see a window containing a number of aliases to image files, a Contents folder, a thumbs folder, and a compressed XML file: namedindex.xml.gz. When modifying the template to make it your own, you have to work with all of them except for the Contents folder.

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