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Brown's KSU Document Template for D2L Brightspace

About D2L Brightspace Document Templates

Desire2Learn Brightspace document templates are skeleton files from which other files can be created. They're called document templates to distinguish them from course templates. Document templates are different from something like a Dreamweaver template in that changes to the template's HTML do not propagate to pages that derive from the template. An HTML change will require editing every page. Changes to the CSS do propagate, because the CSS files are incorporated by linking.

You can find instructions for using document templates here: There is a collection of document templates here:

Brown's "KSU" Document Template

This is not an "official" KSU template. Since there wasn't an official template, I make one of my own. The "KSU" document template is derived from the D2L "Neutral" template. The template.css file is unchanged except that "width: 100%;" was commented out of the specification for the body element because it is not compatible with "margin: 0 auto." The background image and KSU logo were added to the images directory. Changes to theme.css are described below.

HTML Changes

Strictly speaking, these changes should have all been made in the CSS, leaving the HTML unchanged. The absence of hooks, especially for the header, made that impossible, at least for me. To make this work, I added an empty <div> with the ID "ksulogo" immediately after the <body> tag. I avoided the HTML5 <header> element in case the D2L people add a styled header in the future.

Given that I had to touch every HTML file anyway, I also added
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1">
to the head of every document, the better to allow mobile device access.

I also exchanged the "Go to top" paragraph for a table to make it easy to add other footer information. This table does the horrible thing of using inline styles because of the way D2L styles tables.

Installing the Template

You can download the template from here: (version: 2016-03-09)

If you have no templates installed in your course, navigate to "Manage Files" (It's in "Site Resources" under "Edit Course.") Upload the zip file and unzip it. Done!

If you have other templates installed, unzip the file on your local computer. Then sign on to D2L, navigate to "html_templates," which should be in root directory of "Manage Files" and create a "KSU" directory. Within "KSU" create directories "css" and "images." Upload the files in "css" and "images" from your local computer to the corresponding directories you just created. Then upload the files from "KSU" on your local computer to the "KSU" directory under "html_templates."

Enabling Templates

Select "Edit course" and then "Content." Click the "Settings" (gear symbol) at the top right. Check "Enable templates," then click "Change path." Select the "html_templates" directory that was created when you unzipped the file. Finally, click "Save."

Using the Templates

In "Course content," navigate to the place where you want to add content. Click the "New" button and select "Create a file." In the "Create a file" dialog, click "Select a document template" and choose the template you want. It will be copied into your document, and you can begin editing. Selecting the template called "Template styles" will copy information about the available templates into your document. Delete it when you're done and select the appropriate template.

Beware! You cannot "apply" a template to existing text. The templates are just HTML files, and selecting one will overwrite the existing text. Instead, copy the existing text, select the template, and paste the copied text into the template.

Adding Copyright Information

If you would like to add copyright information, or something else, to the document footer, each time you create a new file, open the HTML editor and replace the "copyright goes here" comment with your copyright or footer information. It will show up right-aligned on the same line as the "Go to top" link. (You could also edit the template HTML files so that you do this only once.)

What Changed about the Neutral Template

The following changes were made to the theme.css file:

Last updated: 2016-03-16 15:17