MVC Framework - Layouts

Layouts are used in MVC to provide a consistent look and feel on all the pages of our application. It is the same as defining the Master Pages but MVC provides some more functionalities.

Create MVC Layouts

Step 1 − Create a sample MVC application with Internet application as Template and create a Content folder in the root directory of the web application.

Add New Content Folder

Add New Content Folder

Step 2 − Create a Style Sheet file named MyStyleSheet.css under the CONTENT folder. This CSS file will contain all the CSS classes necessary for a consistent web application page design.

Create New CSS

Create New CSS 1

Step 3 − Create a Shared folder under the View folder.

Shared View Folder

Shared View Folder 1

Step 4 − Create a MasterLayout.cshtml file under the Shared folder. The file MasterLayout.cshtml represents the layout of each page in the application. Right-click on the Shared folder in the Solution Explorer, then go to Add item and click View. Copy the following layout code.

MVC Master Layout

Layout Code

<!DOCTYPE html> 

<html lang = "en"> 
      <meta charset = "utf-8" /> 
      <title>@ViewBag.Title - Tutorial Point</title> 
      <link href = "~/favicon.ico" rel = "shortcut icon" type = "image/x-icon" />
      <link rel = "stylesheet" href = "@Url.Content("~/Content/MyStyleSheet.css")" />
         <div class = "content-wrapper"> 
            <div class = "float-left"> 
               <p class = "site-title"> 
                  @Html.ActionLink("Tutorial Point", "Index", "Home")
            <div class = "float-right">
                  <ul id = "menu"> 
                     <li>@Html.ActionLink("Home", "Index", "Home")</li> 
                      <li>@Html.ActionLink("About", "About", "Home")</li>
      <div id = "body"> 
         @RenderSection("featured", required: false) 
         <section class = "content-wrapper main-content clear-fix"> 
         <div class = "content-wrapper">
            <div class = "float-left"> 
               <p>© @DateTime.Now.Year - Tutorial Point</p> 

In this layout, we are using an HTML helper method and some other system-defined methods, hence let's look at these methods one by one.

  • Url.Content() − This method specifies the path of any file that we are using in our View code. It takes the virtual path as input and returns the absolute path.

  • Html.ActionLink() − This method renders HTML links that links to action of some controller. The first parameter specifies the display name, the second parameter specifies the Action name, and the third parameter specifies the Controller name.

  • RenderSection() − Specifies the name of the section that we want to display at that location in the template.

  • RenderBody() − Renders the actual body of the associated View.

Step 5 − Finally, open the _ViewStart.cshtml file inside Views folder and add the following code −

   Layout = "~/Views/Shared/_Layout.cshtml"; 

If the file is not present, you can create the file with this name.

Step 6 − Run the application now to see the modified home page.

MVC Master Layouts