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Your request, if I'm not mistaken, is to create an empty selection as the default for the page template drop-down, then force a user to select a custom page template.

This may be an over-simplified answer, but you should create a default template that is a valid choice, then offer other templates to supplement the "Default Template". Just make default the most basic possible page layout. This will eliminate confusion for the user as well. Just determine which will be the most common page layout and make it the "Default".

As Chip points out below, the "Default Template" always exists, even if you simply try to change the name using the traditional template naming methods. If you change the template name of page.php, you will simply be given the options of "Default Template" and the "New & Cool Page Template".

This may be an over-simplified answer, but you should create a default template that is a valid choice, then offer other templates to supplement the "Default Template". Just make default the most basic possible page layout.

Your request, if I'm not mistaken, is to create an empty selection as the default for the page template drop-down, then force a user to select a custom page template.

This may be an over-simplified answer, but you should create a default template that is a valid choice, then offer other templates to supplement the "Default Template". Just make default the most basic possible page layout. This will eliminate confusion for the user as well. Just determine which will be the most common page layout and make it the "Default".

As Chip points out below, the "Default Template" always exists, even if you simply try to change the name using the traditional template naming methods. If you change the template name of page.php, you will simply be given the options of "Default Template" and the "New & Cool Page Template".

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This may be an over-simplified answer, but you should create a default template that is a valid choice, then offer other templates to supplement the "Default Template". Just make default the most basic possible page layout.