Share Templates Between Web Engines

Templates are bound to a particular web engine. Typically, settings from one template cannot be applied to any web engine other than the one used to create the template. However, with a bit of simple template hacking it is easy to apply settings from one template to another.

Engine Compatibility

For settings to be shared between two or more web engines, those engines must have compatible options. Core Elements 2 (CE2) engines are built on the same basic framework, meaning that many of the foundational options – including the masthead, navigation menu, footer and basic page layout – are shared in common by all CE2 engines. By copying these shared settings between multiple web engines, you can save time by not having to duplicate configurations in multiple web engines, and also ensure perfect cohesive between the various components which comprise your website.


To hack templates, it will be necessary to use a plain text-editor.

The Turning Gate favors Coda, by Panic, Inc. Coda is a Mac OS X application and costs $99. It's pricey, but extremely worthwhile for anyone using a text-editor in daily work.

Free text-editors are also available for Mac and Windows systems:

Hacking Templates

As a first step, select a web engine and create a design as usual. Save your design as a template using the Template Browser; this will be your source template. I like to include the engine title when naming my template, for example: Orange - CE2 Pages.

When finished, select your second web engine. Make no changes; using the default settings, save a new template to the Template Browser; this will be your target template. Name your target template appropriately for the anticipate end result, for example: Orange - CE2 Horizon.

That done, quit Lightroom. Open your Web Templates folder, the location of which varies by operating system:

on Mac OS X Snow Leopard / Leopard
Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Templates/

on Mac OS X Lion
Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Templates/

On Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Templates\

On Windows Vista & Windows 7
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Templates\

Locate your source and target templates in whichever sub-folder to which you saved them. Using the example file names above, they would appear as:

  • Orange - CE2 Horizon.lrtemplate
  • Orange - CE2 Pages.lrtemplate

Using your text-editor, open the source template. Search for the line which begins:

		styleData = {

Highlight and copy this line and all lines that follow it. The more changes to made to the default settings in your source template, the longer the copied code will be.

Using your text-editor, now open the target template. Again, search fo the line which begins:

		styleData = {

Because no changes were made to the web engine configuration when saving the target template, the styleData section of the template will be short:

		styleData = {
	version = 0,

Highlight this entire section – from the styleData line, to the end of the file – and Paste in the code from the source template. SAVE your changes.

You may now restart Lightroom. Load the target template, and you should see that any settings shared in common between the source and target web engines will now resemble the source template.

As a final step, Ctrl-click the target template name and select “Update with Current Settings” from the menu. This will update your target template with information from the current engine, clearing out any irrelevant settings carried over from the source template.