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Nested ASP.NET Master Pages 

Master pages can be nested, with one master page referencing another as its master. Nested master pages allow you to create componentized master pages. For example, a large site might contain an overall master page that defines the look of the site. Different site content partners can then define their own child master pages that reference the site master and that in turn define the look for that partner's content.

A child master page has the file name extension .master, as with any master page. The child master page typically contains content controls that are mapped to content placeholders on the parent master page. In this respect, the child master page is laid out like any content page. However, the child master page also has content placeholders of its own to display content supplied by its own child pages. The following three page listings show a simple nested master page configuration.

This is the parent master file:

<% @ Master Language="C#" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 
    1.1//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" >
<head runat="server">
    <title>Untitled Page</title>
</head>
<body>
<form id="Form1" runat="server">
<div>
<h1>Parent Master</h1>
<p style="font:color=red">This is parent master content.</p>
<asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="MainContent" runat="server" />
</div>
</form>
</body>
</html>

This is the child master file:

<%@ Master Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Parent.master"%> 
<asp:Content id="Content1" ContentPlaceholderID="MainContent" runat="server">
   <asp:panel runat="server" id="panelMain" backcolor="lightyellow">
   <h2>Child master</h2>
      <asp:panel runat="server" id="panel1" backcolor="lightblue">
        <p>This is child master content.</p>
        <asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="ChildContent1" runat="server" />
      </asp:panel>
      <asp:panel runat="server" id="panel2" backcolor="pink">
         <p>This is child master content.</p>
         <asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="ChildContent2" runat="server" />
      </asp:panel>
      <br />
   </asp:panel>
</asp:Content>

This is a child file that references the child master page:

<%@ Page Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Child.master"%>
<asp:Content id="Content1" ContentPlaceholderID="ChildContent1" runat="server">
   <asp:Label runat="server" id="Label1" 
        text="Child label1" font-bold="true" />
   <br />
</asp:Content>
<asp:Content id="Content2" ContentPlaceholderID="ChildContent2" runat="server">
   <asp:Label runat="server" id="Label2" 
        text="Child label2" font-bold="true"/>
</asp:Content>

See Also

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