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I am trying to find the feature to add a page template. I am adding an archive but when I go into pages->Add New-> I get no option in the sidebar to use the existing archives.php file I want to use. Can anyone help me out?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

archives.php is a template file that WordPress will use by default (if it exists). If you want to create a custom page template you need to create a new template file in your theme. You can read all about it in the Codex, but I'll provide an example below. Put this at the top of your new file:

Template Name: Your page template name goes here.

Then follow it with the custom code you need to display your data.

Then, when creating a new page that you would like to use the above template, you will see a drop-down list on the right that lists all the names of page templates you have in your theme.

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I already have code similar to this in my style.css file. I created a theme from scratch and applied my CSS to it. i Created a custom archives.php file yet it doesn't display in the dashboard to allow me to select it as a template – NATHAN C Mar 13 '12 at 20:23
+1 See also: the Codex entry for custom Page templates. – Chip Bennett Mar 13 '12 at 20:24
"I already have code similar to this in my style.css file." - It's not what's in your style.css file that matters, but rather the phpDoc header in archives.php. – Chip Bennett Mar 13 '12 at 20:25
The above code does not go in your stylesheet, it HAS to go at the top of your custom page template. Archives.php is a file name that is reserved by WordPress. If you want to use that same file, simply rename page-archives.php and it should work. – cmegown Mar 13 '12 at 20:25
Actually, archives.php is not reserved; that would be archive.php. Though, I would still recommend using something like template-archives.php as your custom Page template file name. (I would not use page-archives.php, as page-{slug}.php is reserved by the Template Hierarchy. – Chip Bennett Mar 13 '12 at 20:28

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