How to Change the Template. ~ The Blog Doctor.

How to Change the Template.

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The Template is your blog's clothes and to change it....

click on the Template tab after logging into the Dashboard and clicking on your blog's name. Ihe Template Tab has four subtabs : 'Page Elements', 'Fonts and Colors', 'Edit HTML' and 'Pick New Template'. The Page Elements subtab is the default and is used to arrange the various Page elements or Widgets in your blog. The Edit Html subtab is where you can change your template. Click on 'Edit Html'to bring up the page to change the template.

There are two ways to do this in beta blogger. The first method is to click the link 'Download Full Template' under the heading Backup/Restore Template on this page. Click on it and save the file with XML extension to your hard disk. If you write a post and put it on a blog, that's a historical document.
If you change your template, then that entry looks completely different. It's the same words, but not the same meaning. This all depends on what historical questions that people will be asking and we can't know what they will want.
Josh Greenberg, Digital Preservation and Blogs, SXSW 2006
The second method is to first put a check in the box to 'Expand Widget Templates'. This expands the template in the text box below. Now right click anywhere within that text box and choose 'Select All' Then right click within the blue selected area and choose 'Copy'. Open Notepad Right click within it and choose 'Paste'. This pastes your entire template in Notepad and now save it as a text file.

To change into a new template click on Browse button after 'Upload a template from a file on your hard drive:' on the Edit Html page. Select the XML file which is your template by navigating to it and click 'Open'.
The path to the file is loaded and then click on 'Upload'. The template is uploaded and saved immediately and you can view your blog in its new clothes.

Another method is to copy and paste the entire template code into the Edit Template box on the Edit Html page and click Save.

After dressing your blog in its new clothes always check it in browser to see how it looks. About 80-90% viewers use Internet Explorer and about 10-15% use Firefox. Others use Opera and safari. Try and check it in all the browsers you have.

Check also to see how it looks at different resolutions. To check how it looks at 800 by 600 type following in your browser address box (after loading your blog) :


and press ENTER.
It will resize window to the window to that resolution. About 15-20% viewers use that resolution and should be able to view your site without distortion. To check at other resolutions enter the corressponding figures in the parenthesis above and do likewise.


XML Notepad 2006
Microsoft XML Notepad
Stylus Studio XML Pro
XML Fox XML&XSD Editor

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Anonymous said...


First of all, thanks a lot for this page, it is being very helpful to difficulties I have had.

Anyhow, I am trying to change the template in my blog, but when I manage to get the code and put it in the EDIT TEMPLATE, I get an error saying "Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The content of elements must consist of well-formed character data or markup"

What part of the code do I need to copy? What am I doing so wrong? I have been trying to work it out all weekend and have been unsuccesful so far.

I would be extremely grateful for your help.

All the best,

Editor said...

Thank you very much Vin, your quidance is very helpful.

Patty-Jean from LittleQuiver said...

Merci Beaucoup!

anne said...

em..i tried this method many times, but is still didnt me...

vin said...


What is your blog url? What errors are you getting? Use my email address in the left column for detailed help.

Deb said...

Thanks for a great tutorial. I am a very green novice and was terrified that changing my template would totally crash my blog. It all worked great. Disclaimer: I was just changing Blogger templates but I have read several others who had those crash.

Shalene said...

I tried the paste the entire code in it, and got an error:

We were unable to save your template
Please correct the error below, and submit your template again.
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The document type declaration for root element type "html" must end with '>'.
HelP???? I have gotten this message with every template I've tried to change to. I've been doing it on a test blog, because I don't want to start from scratch with my blog. my url is I would prefer to find a 3 column template for Rounders 4 but can't seem to find one that works and hoped this would suffice.

Candylover said...

I tried it, but as you said, OLD BLOGGER USES HTML TEMPLATES WHICH ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH NEW/BETA BLOGGER, it didn't work. i got the template from so how can i make the skin compatible with beta blogger? the error i got is: Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: Content is not allowed in prolog. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

vin said...


You can ask the author of the template to modify it to make it compatible with the new blogger. Also see :

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU soooo much!!!! now i know how to change my blogskin!!!

SouthernGurl said...





vin said...


What is your blog url? What changes do you want? No need for CAPS!! Just patience is the key!

Anonymous said...

i tried putting a new skin for my blog, trying to change the default skin, but no matter how many new skins i put on the 'edit template' space, i always get this message and error:
Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The entity name must immediately follow the '&' in the entity reference.


vin said...


DO NOT paste HTML templates in the new blogger XML/XHTML layouts as they are incompatible and will lead to errors.

If you are pasting a XML/XHTML template look for any "&" characters in the template and change them to "& a m p ;" without the spaces. Also see :

Wine Whisperer said...

I can handle the actual editing but I cannot, for the life of me, find those tabs (Posting, Settings, Template).

There is no name of my blog that's clickable on the Dashboard. I've spent an hour going all over the place and can't find it!

Is there a Blogging for Frustrated Dummies Going Blind?

vin said...


Is your Dashboard totally empty? Try clearing the cache. See :

Use Firefox or Opera browser.

Anonymous said...

Hi Vin,

Hope you can help me with this.

i'm starting to customize my page before posting and i'm getting this error.

"There should be one and only one skin in the template, and we found: 0"

i have a template downloaded from the web and i tried to download the page.html and i got that error.

how will i change my blog layout / skin using a pre-made layout?

how will i upload it?

please enlighten me, i already read your article 'how to change my template' several times but i still cant do the changes...

thanks a lot!

vin said...


You seem to have tried to upload a classic template. These templates are incompatible with the new layout templates. See :

Anonymous said...

I am trying to change my template, but when I preview it all my widgets are missing. Is there a way around this problem? Thanks.

vin said...

Jenn Elison,

Whenever you load a new template the widgets content are not transferred. Hence always backup widgets content before changing template so you can add them later :

Backup Widgets in Blogger

Anonymous said...

can u help me please?
i think the code is incompatible with the beta-blog but i want to change my template with this ---

i keep trying doing what u've thot but the result is like this --

so what shud i do now?

vin said...


For template design issues you need to contact the template designer.

If you have any Blgger related problems I will be glad to help you.

Anonymous said...

I have a css template, but have no idea how to upload it to blogger.It comes in a .zip format. HOw do i go about it? THanks.

vin said...


Blogger templates are in XHTML and only a CSS template will be of no use :

Parts of Blogger Template

Nikki Magdalena said...

Hi, I am new to this blog adventure, and I found a template at, was able to post a pic on the banner, but I am wondering if I can do further edits to the template??
here is my blog:
If so (hopefully!) want to put in a horizontal menu or tabviews, and after reading a matrix of blogger tip sites, still confused about which codes I can use to modify??
The template itself is in XHTML now, so what code do you use for edits??
Please help!!
Thank you:-)

vin said...

Have a look at :

CSS Navigation Tabs

Anonymous said...

i need your help.
Erm, may i know what's the meaning of "Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: The markup in the document following the root element must be well-formed." ?

vin said...


Are you trying to load a Classic template? Have a look at :

Error Messages in New Blogger Templates

vin said...


If you are trying to load a Classic template into a Layout template blog it will give errors because the two templates are incompatible.


Here is a three column template for Rounders :

Rounders Three Column Template

Anonymous said...

i have download some template form net how can i know the html of that template

Vin said...


If it is a XML file you can upload it through Edit Html subtab of Layout tab.

Click Browse and then select file and click Open. Then click Upload.

sqpeg said...

Hi, and HELP! My LAYOUT tab has vanished, i have TEMPLATE instead and template doesn't have "page elements", "fonts and colours", "edit HTML" with the Upload possibility. Instead I only get edit, "pick new", customize design and adsense. I stupidly tried to apply another layout from a different site. What can i do to get back my layout with its options? Any help would be much appreciated cause my blog looks hideous right now. I can't even upload a pic!

Vin said...


Relax and upgrade to Layouts.

caio said...

Dear Vin

I clicked "revert widget templates to default" as you said to sb in order to get my comments link under posts back but it still not there. Any clue on why this is happening and what to do?


Vin said...


Try clearing the Cache.
Use Firefox browser.

caio said...


sorry to bother you again. just cleared the cache and then reverted widgets to default. comments are still not allowed...any further help?


Vin said...


Have you enabled all comment settings? See Tips on Bloger Comments.

caio said...

hi! just for your info, I do not know why but it became default in my Post Editor / Post Option not to allow comments. Just changed that and now it is ok!
Thanks a lot!!!

Patty Wysong said...

Thank you!
I'm a dummie when it comes to this stuff, but by following your directions I was able to back up my blog, and my old template and install a new 3 column template. All on the first try, and without frustration. I was just fearful I would leave out something important. LoL. It worked, and now I'm off to fix it up. (I didn't get the colors saved, nor the widgets--but I DO have them else where so I can do this easily.)

Thanks so much--I'll be telling my friends about your site. :-)

Anonymous said...

how to change css template to blogger site. plz hellp

Vin said...


What CSS template? Have a look at Parts of the Blogger Template.

Zoulhusni:My Emancipation said...

hiye vin, thanx 4 d tips..but then again i keep facing d same problem...

Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: White spaces are required between publicId and systemId.

my blog url is

help me plzzz....

Thought Control said...

I have changed the width of my blog to the maximum and reduced the side bar to zero as I only want to have one column. Am I going to run into trouble with the side bar pushed off to the side. I don't intent using it but couldnt find a 'how to' to delete it.

I'd hate to run into drams after posting a lot of content later.

Anonymous said...


What is the blog address?
Just delete the code for the sidebar in the template.

Thought Control said...

I'll get rid of the side bar. Thanks for the quick reply.

Anonymous said...


You can increase width of posts column.

Also see the Book Template for Bloggers.

ButlerBoomer said...

Your site is full of great information. Thanks so much for all your hard work.
QUESTION: I have a custom template, but don't want to continue to pay for changes. I would like to change the layout from 2 column to 3 column. How do I do that? If nothing else, I'd at least like to change the width of the Blog Post section.

Vin said...


Create Three Columns in Three Steps.

How to Change Width of Blog?

soe...soe said...

thanks for helping
it is really useful

Anonymous said...

may i noe how to convert the classic template to new layouts template?!

Vin said...


Have a look at Interchanging Templates and Layouts in Blogger.

Unknown said...

thanks a lot dear,
it was very-very helpful
it must have taken so much of effort on your part to do all this for all of us naive bloggers!

Anonymous said...

i need ur help.
mow, my template is 3 coloum. if i change 2 coloum template some things will loose so how should i cover all the things?
here is my link

And 1 more ques:

how can i change 2 coloum template to 3 coloum but i dont want to move 2 coloum layout design.

thanks in advance

Vin said...


If you change to an Official Blogger template via Layout----->Pick New Template you will not lose gadgets.

If you load a third party template you can Keep Gadgets when changing the template OR :

Backup Widgets and add them again afterward.

Anonymous said...

thank you very much
i will try


Anonymous said...


how can i move the template address bar under the navbar.


Anonymous said...


how can i move template address bar under the navbar.


Vin said...


Where do you want to move it to?

Anonymous said...

i mean;
auto -hide or invisible mode

Vin said...


Since it is a copyright notice by template designer you should ask them if you can do so.

Anonymous said...


I've met the same problem as what Glow faced.What should I do?

Vin said...


Here is the answer I gave Glow :

"If you are trying to load a Classic template into a Layout template blog it will give errors because the two templates are incompatible."

Revert to Classic template before loading one.

Sandra Foster said...

Vin, thanks for all the info. I am trying to add a picture to background on my blog and when I follow step 1 of the instructions it says "First create a free account at Googlepages to host your image/pic".
Well when I tried to do that Google Page Creator said "no longer accepting new signups". Where do I go from here so I can upload my pic for the background. Uniquely Myself

Vin said...

Uniquely Myself,


Sandra Foster said...

Vin thanks for the help on the background image. I managed to get in but what I really would like is for it to be solid or semi-transparent on the portion where the actual blog text etc will be. I think it could be distracting trying to read it this way. Can you tell me how to do this. Uniquely Myself.

Vin said...

Uniquely Myself,

Have a look at Transparent Background for Blogs.

Sandra Foster said...

Vin, you have the html talent. Followed your instructions and it worked beautifully with the transparency set for the outer-wrapper at 85%. I thank you again and Wish you a Happy New Year!

Uniquely Myself

Sandra Foster said...

Hello again. I'm not done yet. Now what I need to know is how to add two pictures on top of the background. Positioned at 1/3rd way down on left and right. For example a ribbon or other design element. Thanks in advance. Uniquely Myself

Vin said...

Uniquely Myself,

For that you will have to create a picture collage of three pictures in an image editor and add it to background with position code.

Anonymous said...

Good day Vin.
I tried to change my template using the recommended post but it didn't work. It showed:bX-4h0tgg with the message that my request can not be completed. When i tried agsain it showed:bX-yh6u4n with same message as above.I'm using Minnima template. What do i do?

Vin said...


The bx errors are due to connectivity mistakes. Try connecting at less busy times/from a broadband network. Close all other open applications on PC and also any other open browser windows. Also close any applications like media player streaming multimedia content.

KEHutchinson said...

I have been to many sites on how to install a new template on to blogger, but nothing seems to work for me. I have a downloaded xml file for a template, and using beta, I consistently hit the dreaded blogger "bX-" error messages whenever I try to upload the file. As far as I can tell from each site, I am doing what I am supposed to, and the google forums are no help. Could you please let me know if there is another way to install a template?

Many thanks,

Vin said...

Kate Hutchinson,

The bx errors are due to connectivity errors. Try connecting at less busy times/or from a broadband connection.

Also close any other open application or open browser window or tab on PC.

Stop any other simultaneously running download/video/music streaming window.

Vet. Hekim Tijen Ă–zbatur said...

Thanks alot!I was looking for this code for hours.Your the bestest.

Eva Muthusamy said...

I have 'installed' the blog skin I wanted. The problem is, I dunno how to change/edit the information in the About Me,Links, Archive..etc. Could you help me sort this out?? Thx.


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