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Is there a way to "unlink" a page from the master page? Specifically, what I want to do is have a completely blank page display a SharePoint ListViewWebPart.

Alternatively, if I start by creating a blank page, I cannot seem to add any web parts to it.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can create a web part page with out a master page, but that means that you have to put some of the controls from the master page into you page.

Alternative you can create a blank master page and use that.

But the simplest solution is to just hide the parts of the master page you don't want to show using css like this:

.s4-notdlg, #s4-ribbonrow {
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Yes. I implemented the css you recommended. Works well enough, thanks. – Carel Oct 10 '12 at 8:34

Try this out - First create a blank master page, create your page normally and then force that particular page to use the blank master page

Check out this link for more help.

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