Jul 24, 2011

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Google Blogger Page Elements Tags For Layouts

MenuHome: How Blogger Data Tags Work
Page Elements Tags For Layouts in Blogger
Available Data Tags in Blogger
HTML Template Syntax in Blogger

Amazon The <body> section of a Layouts template is made up primarily of sections and widgets. Sections mark out areas of your page, such as the sidebar, footer, etc. A widget is an individual page element such as a picture, a blogroll, or anything else you can add from the Page Elements tab. You can include any HTML you like around the sections in your template. Questions?

Each section in your template has an opening and a closing tag, looking something like this:

<b:section id='header' class='header' maxwidgets="1" showaddelement="no">

A <b:section> tag can have the following attributes:

  • id - (Required) A unique name, with letters and numbers only.
  • class - (Optional) Common class names are 'navbar,' 'header,' 'main,' 'sidebar,' and 'footer.' If you switch templates later, these names help Blogger determine how best to transfer over your content. However, you can use different names, if you like.
  • maxwidgets - (Optional) The maximum number of widgets to allow in this section. If you don't specify a limit, there won't be one.
  • showaddelement - (Optional) Can be 'yes' or 'no,' with 'yes' as the default. This determines whether the Page Elements tab will show the 'Add a Page Element' link in this section.
  • growth - (Optional) Can be 'horizontal' or 'vertical,' with 'vertical' as the default. This determines whether widgets within this section are arranged side-by-side or stacked.

A section can contain widgets; it can't contain other sections or other code. If you need to insert extra code between or around certain widgets within a section, you'll need to split the section into two or more new sections.

In its simplest form, a widget is represented by a single tag, which is basically just a placeholder indicating how the widget should be handled in the Page Elements tab. The actual data for any given widget is stored in the Blogger database and only accessed when the widget needs to be displayed. Some examples of widgets (one for a page header and one for a list) are:

<b:widget id="header" type='HeaderView' locked="yes"/>
<b:widget id="myList" type='ListView' locked="no" title="My Favorite Things"/>

A widget may have the following attributes:

  • id - (Required) May contain letters and numbers only, and each widget ID in your template should be unique. A widget's ID cannot be changed without deleting the widget and creating a new one.
  • type - (Required) Indicates what kind of a widget it is, and should be one of the valid widget types listed below.
  • locked - (Optional) Can be 'yes' or 'no,' with 'no' as the default. A locked widget cannot be moved or deleted from the Page Elements tab.
  • title - (Optional) A display title for the widget. If none is specified, a default title such as 'List1' will be used.
  • pageType - (Optional) Can be 'all,' 'archive,' 'main,' or 'item,' with 'all' as the default. The widget will display only on the designated pages of your blog. (All widgets display on the Page Elements tab, regardless of thier pageType.)

The types of widgets you can specify are:
  • BlogArchive
  • Blog
  • Feed
  • Header
  • HTML
  • SingleImage
  • LinkList
  • List
  • Logo
  • BlogProfile
  • Navbar
  • VideoBar
  • NewsBar

Each widget can also be written out in an expanded form, detailing the complete layout and contents for that widget. This is what you'll see, for instance, if you download your template from the Edit HTML tab to make a backup. Usually, you won't need to work with widgets in this mode, since it's simpler to just modify them from the Page Elements tab. However, if you want to know more, you can read about the HTML Template Syntax in Google Blogger.

Note: In your published blog, all <b:section> and <b:widget> tags will be replaced with <div> tags, which will have the specified ID. So, you're welcome to refer to, for example, div#header or div#myList in your CSS if you want to. Questions? Let me know!

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