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I'm trying to override the default page template for a specific page I created. I created a new page and then created a new template file called page--node--1.tpl.php and added the following code:

<?php
echo 'test?';
exit;
?>

I'm using 'garland' as a theme and it's still showing garland's template.

  • Did you copy the default page.tpl.php to you r theme as well, and then clear the caches? – Clive Jan 31 '13 at 16:08
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Adding a template file to an enabled theme is like adding a hook to an enabled module: In both the cases, Drupal will not notice there is a new template file, or a new hook, as Drupal keeps that information cached.
After you add a new template file, you need to clear the Drupal cache, or disable the theme for then re-enable it. In the latter case, you forces Drupal to clear the relevant caches.

As side note, exit should be never used in a template file, not even for debugging. Doing so, you would interrupt Drupal when it calls theme_render_template(), with the effect that the template file would not be rendered.

function theme_render_template($template_file, $variables) {
  extract($variables, EXTR_SKIP); // Extract the variables to a local namespace
  ob_start(); // Start output buffering
  include DRUPAL_ROOT . '/' . $template_file; // Include the template file
  // The code after this comment is never executed, if the template file executes exit().
  return ob_get_clean(); // End buffering and return its contents
}

For debugging purposes, it's enough to print a specific string that allows you to know if the template file is loaded.

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