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How to save site as template for a Publishing Site? I do not understand how this is done.

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You can't, it isn't supported,

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if you are only interested in extracting Content Types, page layouts etc. you can point directly to <yoursite>/_layouts/savetmpl.aspx just remember that using it to provision a site is not supported and most likely will be broken – Anders Rask Oct 7 '11 at 21:05
@AndersRask - not true any more, as of Sp2013 – Kieren Johnstone Jun 21 '13 at 7:48
You can still save site as template (it is probably still not a good idea), it just takes a little workaround.… – Anders Rask Jun 21 '13 at 8:48
Is this stable? Did anyone try it? – Amadeo Gallardo May 13 '14 at 19:03

As others have pointed out, it is not supported.

How to handle this? - Web Templates is your answer - Build web templates, include the required SharePoint features and custom features - custom features can be used to build the site with default content which can be the default pages, default lists, assigning the default master page etc., etc.,

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You should not. 1)Create a blank site , add your features , save as template. After provisioning activate Publishing feature

2) Create custom web provisioning code / feature staple

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