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Let's say I make a copy of minimal starter master page which is available on internet. What is the main content area in that master page where I can write something my own text?
I mean there are many different div and sections in that page. I simply want to achieve this:

  • My home page should say "This is home page"
  • My inner page (named "test") should say "This is test page"

Everything else i.e. menu, quick launch bar, ribbon, search bar e.t.c. will remain same. I simply want to display these messages in HTML, how do I do that?

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What version? Randy Drisgill's starter master pages on Codeplex are fully commented. The main body area has the ID PlaceHolderMain. –  teylyn Mar 25 '13 at 11:01
    
Yes I am using Randy's master page. But one thing I am not able to understand, how do I make some page a home page? Let's say I create a new web part page that uses this master page, how do I make this web part page a home page? –  Frank Martin Mar 25 '13 at 11:58
    
In SharePoint Designer, click the page in the list of pages and then click Set as Home Page on the pages ribbon. This can all be worked out by reading some intro level articles or books. –  teylyn Mar 25 '13 at 19:45
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1 Answer

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Content is not placed on the master page. The master page (together with the CSS) provides the overall look and feel for all pages of the site, e.g. where certain static page elements like navigation are and what they look like. To create different content pages, like a home page and another content page, you need to create either a web part page, a publishing page, or a wiki page, depending on your purpose and other factors. Every SharePoint site created from a template will have a default home page. More pages can be created via the user interface, for example with Site Actions > New Page in SharePoint 2010. Pages are stored in libraries. Depending on your version and license, links to these pages can be placed in the navigation elements. All this is done without changing the master page.

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I am using SharePoint Designer. I created a new Web Part page which is blank and it works fine. Then I noticed it says "default.master" under "MasterPageFile" so I changed it to "v4.master" but now this page gives me error "The file or folder name contains characters that are not permitted". –  Frank Martin Mar 25 '13 at 11:44
    
You can't just change the file name in the aspx page. The steps to assign a different master page to a content page are a bit different. You need to do that via the ribbon in SharePoint Designer. Edit the page in advanced mode, then attach a master page via the Style ribbon Attach drop-down. –  teylyn Mar 25 '13 at 19:43
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