A Page Layout is the collection of tables and fields on any one page.
When you speak of a layout, it includes all the tables and fields, their positions on the page, their various settings and formats and interactions. If you copy one page's layout to another page, all the elements will appear in the same place relative to the page itself.
When the document you're working on has many similar pages, you have the option of creating "linked layouts", which means that the layouts of several pages will remain identical to one another, and every change in the layout of one page will be mirrored in the layouts of the rest of the pages.
This can be useful if you've created a layout for many similar pages, and later you decide to make a small change, for example by adding a field.
Linked layouts can be unlinked, after which the unlinked page will have its own separate layout and will no longer affect the layouts it was linked to or be affected by them. If you have many pages which are similar but not identical, you might want to consider building a linked layout, creating all the similar parts, then unlinking the different pages to adjust the different parts of the layout.
You can read more about Linked Layouts on the "Linking Page Layouts" section on this page.
A Document Template is the collection of all the individual page layouts. In addition, the template remembers which page layouts are linked to which other page layouts, as well as the template structure, which is the pattern followed by the pages throughout the entire document.
The Template Structure
In many documents, most pages are very similar to one another, and one or several page layouts repeat themselves throughout the document.
Suppose you've worked hard to build a layout for a 20-page PDF document where there's one layout for odd-numbered pages and another for even-numbered pages, and the next day you receive another PDF document, with exactly identical odd and even page layouts, only this one has 100 pages rather than 20.
Normally, you could save the 20-page layout, and load it into the 100-page document where it would cover the first 20 pages and force you to manually apply the layouts to the remaining pages, however, PDF2XL allows you to set a repetition pattern for an the entire document, which doesn't depend on its length.
For example, if you've made the odd/even template for the 20-page document, using the "Repeats Every: 2 pages" option, loading the same template onto a 100-page document will apply these layouts to all 100 pages instead of making you manually copy them.
PDF2XL supports the following types of template structures:
Same throughout the document: every page has the same layout.
Repeating layout: the layouts repeat themselves every X pages.
Every page different: there is no repetitive structure (but you can still have some pages linked if you wish).
Custom: if you manually change the template structure, for example by unlinking two pages that were linked by the template structure, the structure will be changed to Custom. This type does not appear as one of the structure options in the dialog.
In addition to this repetition pattern, you can also mark the "First Page Different" or "Last Page Different" options, which exclude the first/ last page from the repetition pattern.
Both layouts and templates can be saved externally, for re-use in other documents. Click here for details.