Templates provide consistent design. While that’s generally a good thing, it can also become boring. Furthermore, there may be times when you’d like the flexibility to include information on some template-based pages but not on others.
Dreamweaver MX provides a new—and fairly foolproof—way to vary page design: optional regions. An optional region is simply part of a template page that can be hidden or displayed on each template-based page (see Figure 18-9). When creating a new page based on the template, a page author can turn the region on or off.
Figure 18-10. Now you see it, now you don’t. Optional regions let you show or hide content on a page-by-page basis. In these examples, the template page has an optional region containing a “Sign of the Month” button indicated by the blue tab with the label If signOfMonth (top). When creating a template-based page from this template, you can either display the optional region (bottom left) or hide it (bottom right).
Creating an optional region is a snap. Just select the HTML code you wish to make optional, and then do one of the following:
Click the Optional Region button in the Templates tab of the Insert bar (see Figure 18-2).
Choose Insert→Template Objects→Optional Region.
Right-click (Control-click) the selection and choose Templates→New Optional Region from the contextual menu.
In the New Optional Region window, type ...