templates – How to let the user reuse a content section across multiple layouts pages while having it centrally editable


We are creating a form editor with many different layouts. Many layouts will have the same content repeated on them. We want to make it easy to define a section or group of fields on one layout, and have it placed across many layouts. Editing one will update all the instances of them saving the user from repeating edits many times.
However I’m worried this kind of mental model is hard to convey.

I’m not sure what kind of UI pattern this is called but the best analogy I can think of is repeated calendar entries in osx calendar. They appear multiple times. When you edit any instance of that event it will change that instance and when saving it will ask

You’re changing a repeating event.
Do you want to change only this occurrence of the event, or this and all future occurrences?
[Cancel] [All Future Events] [Only this Event]

I’m considering a UI very similar.

  • A insert that lets you insert from a list of existing sections
  • Some visual cue to show an section instance is repeated X times in other places
  • any change to something in a section results in the popup to ask if you want to change this only this section or all other instances of this section. If “all instances” then it won’t ask again until you edit something else. If “only this” then its no longer linked and any changes there are no questions.

Thoughts? Examples of other ways to solve this?