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lay·out
/ˈlāˌout/ Noun The way in which the parts of something are arranged or laid out. The way in which text or pictures are set out on a page.

I don't understand why the layouts folder is called so, was it originally just for page templates before evolving or something? The naming bares little relevance to application pages I often deploy to it.

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An unexplained downvote is an non-constructive one. If curiosity is disallowed on this forum please let me know and I will refrain from asking slightly more non-technical questions. –  DeeMac Jan 15 '13 at 17:00
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Basically each page in _layouts is just a template because page is filled with data from list item, doc. library file etc. Each page here defines the "layout" - design, so it's a good name.

Of course, it could be called pages, but someone decided to name it layouts. I don't think there is some special meaning behind the name of this folder.

If there is deeper meaning I'd like to find out what it was :)

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