ASP.NET Master Pages

Dheeraj Kumar Gunti

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ASP.NET master pages allow you to create a consistent layout for the pages in your application. A single master page defines the look and feel and standard behavior that you want for all of the pages (or a group of pages) in your application. You can then create individual content pages that contain the content you want to display. When users request the content pages, they merge with the master page to produce output that combines the layout of the master page with the content from the content page.
A master page is an ASP.NET file with the extension .master (for example, MySite.master) with a predefined layout that can include static text, HTML elements, and server controls. The master page is identified by a special @ Master directive that replaces the @ Page directive that is used for ordinary .aspx pages.

Creating a Master Page.

Note: One Application can have more than one master page.

Advantages of Master Pages

  • Master pages provide functionality that developers have traditionally created by copying existing code, text, and control elements repeatedly; using framesets; using include files for common elements; using ASP.NET user controls; and so on. Advantages of master pages include the following:
  • They allow you to centralize the common functionality of your pages so that you can make updates in just one place.
  • They make it easy to create one set of controls and code and apply the results to a set of pages. For example, you can use controls on the master page to create a menu that applies to all pages.
  • They give you fine-grained control over the layout of the final page by allowing you to control how the placeholder controls are rendered.
  • They provide an object model that allows you to customize the master page from individual content pages