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Using custom template files for different view modes

You can use custom template files for different view modes really easily in Drupal 7 by adding this to your theme's template.php file:

function THEMENAME_preprocess_node(&$vars) {
  // Custom display templates will be called node--[type]--[viewmode].tpl.php 
  $vars['theme_hook_suggestions'][] = 'node__' . $vars['type'] . '__' . $vars['view_mode']; 

You can then make your own copy on node.tpl.php and rename it node--[type]--[viewmode].tpl.php and it will only apply to the content type [type] when it is displayed in the view mode [viewmode] for example node--article--teaser.tpl.php.

Well there you have it, simple stuff really. Of course for larger sites you might want to avoid template files as much as you can and consider going for a more in-depth solution like Display Suite or Panels but for smaller sites this will do the trick just fine.