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What is Template | Types | Benefits | C++ Template | How it Works

A template is a pre-designed layout or pattern that serves as a starting point for creating something, whether it’s a physical object, a document, a digital file, or any other type of content. Templates are used to streamline the process of creating something by providing a framework or structure that can be customized or filled in with specific information or elements.


What is a Template?

A template is a form, mold or pattern file created with a layout to be used with one or more documents. For example, a Word Processor may have a template for a resume. With this resume template, the overall layout is designed where one can replace with the relevant information.

There may be a pre-designed templates with the ability for a template to be created by the user. The custom templates may contain theme fonts, layouts, theme colors, theme effects, background styles and content. Once the custom template is created, one can save, reuse or shared with other users.


Design templates differ based on the work that is created. However, one should share a similar themes and patterns entirely in the completed work. MS PowerPoint contains design templates which help to provide visual organization to the presentations. Every slide will have different layout and graphics, but the complete look of the slide has the continuity.

Benefits of Template

The use of template is beneficial as it can help to create a document quickly and efficiently with the help of a pattern or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

Standard Operating Procedure
Standard Operating Procedure

The creation of template can save one’s time in the long run as one need not to start from beginning every time to make something new. The template ensures the final product is consistent and of high quality.

Types for Templates

Below are some of the types for templates –

  1. Documents – This template has a placeholder text or rather a standard layout which repeats for each of the new file created. Hence, the template gives permission to users to reuse a specific standard section of text. Just fill in the variable parts instead of creating a complete new document all the time.
  1. Website Design – With the help of a website or general design, the users can change the colour schemes, images and text. This is just to create a different website without beginning from the scratch.
Website Design_Template
Website Design_Template
  1. Programming Flowcharts – In the programming flowcharts, the template can be used to create Unified Modelling Language (UML) diagrams such as activity diagrams, class diagrams and sequence diagrams. For object-oriented computing languages like Microsoft Foundation Class (MFC) there is also a standard template library. From this library a programmer can select individual template to modify.
Programming Flowcharts_Templates
Programming Flowcharts_Templates
  1. Pattern of Materials – Templates are mostly used in woodworking, sewing and other physical crafting projects. It will make sure that the pieces are cut out of materials properly.

Where are Templates Located?

Anyone can download or buy the premade templates for website design, document creation etc. with the help of Google Search. Else, users can create their own template to use them frequently.

There are some cases where the templates are specialized highly, users may need to hire a professional to create it for them or buy the rights to use the templates.

Very often, we see business software includes templates for common marketing documents and other administrative tasks. One of the good examples is Microsoft Word Template where there are multiple templates to select.

How to Select the Right Template?

Below are few things to keep in mind while selecting or creating the right template –

  1. One needs to make priority for templates for high volume, repeat tasks or where the specifications are required.
  2. The creating template should be easy to use and also to understand.
  3. The templates should be flexible enough to use them for various purposes.
  4. The template should be designed in such a way that it is for intended audience.
  5. The template should be compatible with the software that the user is using.

Introduction to C++ Templates

In programming, a template can be used as the basic for unique code units. C++ is an Object-oriented Computing Language that has standard template libraries where a programmer can select individual template classes to modify. For example – Microsoft Foundation Class Library.

C++ templates
C++ templates

In other words, it is referred to as blueprint or a formula for creating a generic class or a function. The C++ templates are classified into two categories –

  1. Function Template
  2. Class Template

Working of C++ Templates

Working of C++ Template
Working of C++ Template

The templates are expanded at compiler time, which is like Macros. The only difference is that the compiler do checks the type prior template expansion. The idea is simple, the source code contains only functions / class. However, the compiled code may have multiple copies of the same function / class.

Advantages of C++ Templates

C++ templates have the ability to operate on various kinds of information. Below are some of the advantages of C++ templates.

  1. The C++ templates offers the suer with benefits in certain situations that provides result in duplication of the same code for various types. For example – in order to create a set of functions, user can use function templates which use the same to different types of data.
  2. Class templates can also be used to develop a set of type safe classes.
  3. When compared to null pointers and C macros, at times, the templates are better solution and mainly they are beneficial when working with smart pointers and collections.
  4. Templates make their presence in terms of development of time because, they can reduce development of time severely and which is the reason to use them in combination with Standard Template Library (STL).
Standard Library-STL
Standard Library-STL

5. When a user is using a template class, some latest techniques may help to reduce code bloat. However, these techniques are quite more complex.

Disadvantages of C++ Templates

  1. There are some issues with the compliers which shoed a poor support for the templates and thus, somewhere it reduces code portability.
  2. At time when most of the compilers detect an error in a template definition, they lack clear instructions which lead to an increase in the hardness for developing templates.
  3. The rash use of templates can lead to code bloat as compilers have the ability to generate advanced code for all the types of templates that lead to larger executables.
  4. From its nature, a template exposes its implementation. If a user uses them impoliticly in the larger systems, it may be the reason for longer build times.
  5. The developed code by the template is difficult to debug. However, the debugger also faces the issues of locating the code at runtime as the compiler replaces the templates.
  6. The templates are not used to write the conventional libraries. But, standard template library itself is a collection of template classes.

Importance of C++ Templates

Below are some of the reasons why one should use C++ templates-

  1. Less of Expendability – When someone wants to find the area of a rectangle with certain parameters entered as integer along with floating point values, then one can achieve the task with the help of the templates without any difficulty.
  2. Reduce of Programming Effort – The programming effort can be reduced at the user’s end if user uses multiple blocks of code for various types of data.
  3. Reusability and Flexibility – The templates provide the reusability of codes which can be used again and it also provides the code flexibility.
  4. Utility – User can combine templates with function overloading and multiple inheritance.

Templates are valuable tools because they save time and effort by providing a starting point, ensuring consistency in design or content, and helping individuals or organizations achieve their specific goals more efficiently.

Read Also:
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Chakrasthitha is a B.E (Medical Electronics) and has work experience in MatLab and Lab View Software as Design Engineer at BCS innovations and Manipal hospital as Biomedical Engineer. She is an author, editor and partner at Electricalfundablog.


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