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What is the difference between "ContentType" vs "PublishingAssociatedContentType" while creating a page layout?

Property Name="ContentType" Value="Page Layout" PropertyName="PublishingAssociatedContentType" Value="Custom Content Type"

Technically a page layout should be associated with a content type. If so, why should we need two different content types refereed in the layout pages?

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The Page Layout has a content type of "Page Layout". This is how SharePoint differentiates them from other things in the gallery, like master pages, design files, and display templates.

A page layout can also be associated with a Publishing Content Type. This is a content type on the Pages library and it tells SharePoint to default to this page layout when rendering a Publishing Page of that type.

So, in your example above, the Content Type is "Page Layout", which is the only valid value this field can have for a Page Layout, and the Associated Content Type means that publishing pages with a content type of "Custom Content Type" will use that layout. The "Custom Content Type" should be a Content Type on the Pages library.

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