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SharePoint Designer 2010

SharePoint Designer 2010

by Woodrow W. Windischman

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Teaching Web designers, developers, and IT professionals how to use the new version of SharePoint Designer

Covering both the design and business applications of SharePoint Designer, this complete Wrox guide brings readers thoroughly up to speed on how to use SharePoint Designer in an enterprise. You’ll learn to create and modify web pages, use CSS


Teaching Web designers, developers, and IT professionals how to use the new version of SharePoint Designer

Covering both the design and business applications of SharePoint Designer, this complete Wrox guide brings readers thoroughly up to speed on how to use SharePoint Designer in an enterprise. You’ll learn to create and modify web pages, use CSS editing tools to modify themes, use Data View to create interactivity with SharePoint and other data, and much more. Coverage includes integration points with Visual Studio, Visio, and InfoPath.

  • Shows web designers, developers, and IT professionals how to use SharePoint Designer 2010 to customize Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Windows SharePoint Services 4.0
  • Covers both the design and business application of SharePoint Designer 2010
  • Delves into modifying and enhancing every aspect of your SharePoint site—not just the look and feel
  • Explores creating and modifying web pages, how to add interactivity with SharePoint and other data, and using CSS editing tools to modify themes

With the explosive growth in SharePoint, this book is your key to customizing your SharePoint sites with SharePoint Designer 2010.

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Read an Excerpt

Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010

By Woodrow W. Windischman Bryan Phillips Asif Rehmani Marcy Kellar

John Wiley & Sons

Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-470-64316-7

Chapter One

Exploring SharePoint Designer


* How SharePoint Designer fits into Microsoft's toolset

* SharePoint Designer's basic features

* How to create a SharePoint site

* How to open an existing SharePoint site

* How a SharePoint site is represented in SharePoint Designer

* How to change site-wide SharePoint properties

* Restricting what SharePoint Designer users can do


Microsoft SharePoint 2010 is a large and sophisticated web application. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the tool meant to customize it — Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 — is a large, sophisticated desktop application. Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 is the premier tool for customizing sites based on Microsoft SharePoint 2010. It provides features for:

* Creating and editing master pages and page layouts

* Creating and editing cascading style sheets (CSS)

* Designing and editing workflows

* Connecting SharePoint to various external data sources

* Creating and modifying lists, libraries, and views of data

* Managing virtually all other aspects of a user's experience in SharePoint 2010

One very important thing is not on this list: editing SharePoint content. Although SharePoint Designer 2010 does contain powerful page editing tools, these are primarily used in the service of editing the other elements described previously. SharePoint itself is a powerful web-based content management system. Site owners and users use these web-based tools to create and modify the content of their sites.

Your role as a user of SharePoint Designer is to customize the consistent presentation of that content (master pages and CSS), or rules by which it is gathered and manipulated (external data connections and workflow).


In the 2007 Microsoft Office System, Microsoft replaced many of the traditional user interface elements in several client applications, such as Microsoft Word, with what it calls the Fluent user interface, the most noticeable feature of which is a tabbed mega-toolbar called the ribbon. For 2010, this user interface has been expanded to include virtually all Microsoft client applications, including SharePoint Designer 2010. In addition, even SharePoint itself has been endowed with this very popular element (see Appendix B). Figure 1-1 shows an example of the ribbon in SharePoint Designer.

Many tabs on the ribbon are dynamic, or context sensitive, meaning that different tabs are available depending on what you are doing at the time. In Figure 1-1, for example, the tabs in the Code View Tools and List View Tools sections would only be visible simultaneously because the user is editing the design of a list view while the code view portion of SharePoint Designer's split was active. List views and the code view are described in detail later in this book.


In the 2010 client products, Microsoft has taken the Fluent UI a step further. The Office 2007 applications had a Jewel menu that replaced the traditional File menu. For 2010, the name File has been restored, but the functions under that label have expanded even further. Rather than summoning a menu, clicking on the File tab brings forth a new element that Microsoft calls Backstage. Backstage is essentially a full-screen configuration page.

Most ribbon tabs affect a specific piece of a document, such as the font of a word, or the style of a table. Backstage allows you to work with items that affect either the application itself, or the document you are working on as a whole. Different Office applications expose different levels of functionality through Backstage as appropriate. Figure 1-2 shows the SharePoint Designer Backstage.

TRY IT OUT Open a SharePoint Site

1. From the Start menu, select Microsoft Office, Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010. (The File tab will be selected by default.) Observe that very little functionality is available, and many options are "grayed out."

2. Click the large Open Site button.

3. In the Site Name box in the Open Site dialog, type the URL of your test SharePoint 2010 site, and click Open.

4. Observe the stages of the site opening process as displayed in the status box. When the opening process is complete, the Site tab is given focus, and you will see an overview of the site you have opened.

5. Click File to return to Backstage. Observe the different elements that are now "lit up" and available for selection.

NOTE SharePoint Designer can be configured to open the most recently used site automatically. If this is the case on your installation, and a site has previously been opened, it will appear as if you have already completed up to Step 3 in the preceding Try It Out. You learn how to change this setting later in this chapter.

Most Try It Out exercises in this book require you to have a SharePoint 2010 site open in SharePoint Designer in order to follow along. Such a site is not provided with this book. Unless otherwise specified, you may use any edition of SharePoint 2010 and any site template as the basis for your exercises. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft Search Server Express 2010 are available — without licensing costs — directly from Microsoft. Many other editions and licensing options are also available. Please see Microsoft's website (http://sharepoint.microsoft.com) for details on editions, system requirements, downloads, and installation instructions.

How It Works

Most Office applications open in a "ready" state, with a default blank document available for content creation and editing. This was also true of the previous version of SharePoint Designer, and most versions of FrontPage before it. SharePoint Designer 2010, on the other hand, does not allow you to perform any meaningful action without a site open. More specifically, the site in question must also be a SharePoint 2010 site. If you had attempted to open anything other than a SharePoint 2010 site, after SharePoint Designer detected that, you would have been faced with the alert shown in Figure 1-3.

Until you have a site open, SharePoint Designer's Backstage will only allow you to open an existing site, create a new site, or modify some program settings. After you have a site open, however, Backstage also provides options for adding new elements, or artifacts, to your site. These may include pages of various types, new lists and libraries, or even workflows.

Backstage Sections

Within Backstage, a shaded area at the left of the page contains commands and command sections. The contents of this area are shown in Figure 1-4.

Being able to tell the commands from the command sections at a glance can be difficult. One way to determine this is to observe the shape of the highlight when you hover over an option with the mouse pointer. A command, as shown in Figure 1-5, has a highlight that encircles only the text of the command. A command section, shown in Figure 1-6, is highlighted with a band that extends the entire width of the shaded area.

The first four items — Save, Save As, Save All, and Close Site — are individual commands that allow you to save a specific file being edited, all currently open files, or completely close the currently open site.

The Sites Section

The Sites section is shown by default when you open SharePoint Designer, and was shown earlier in Figure 1-2. The four primary regions in the Sites section are:

* Open Site * New Site * Recent Sites * Site Templates

Open Site and New Site each have two large buttons. "Open Site" and "New Blank Web Site" are for opening or creating a general purpose SharePoint site. The "Customize My Site" and "Add Subsite to My Site" buttons are dedicated to working with the My Site feature of SharePoint.

NOTE A My Site is a special site within SharePoint Server (but not SharePoint Foundation) that contains information by, about, and for a particular user and his social network. Microsoft Office, and by extension SharePoint Designer, recognizes each user's My Site the first time it is accessed through SharePoint. After the site is recognized, the various Office applications will provide easy and direct access to this site.

If you have opened other SharePoint sites in the past, they appear in the Recent Sites region of the Sites dialog. You may click the name to select it. Double-clicking a site name in the Open Site dialog drills you into that site and allows you to choose a child site to open (if any). After you have selected a site to open by any of these methods, click the Open button to open the site in SharePoint Designer. You may be prompted to enter credentials for the website, either upon drilling down, or after clicking the Open button.

Until you close all instances of SharePoint Designer, any other site you open in the same URL domain will attempt to use the same credentials. You are prompted again if the account used does not have sufficient permission to open the new site. You may determine the current ID you are using for the open site, or log in as a different user, by clicking the small "person" icon at the far left of the status bar.

NOTE Successfully opening a site in SharePoint Designer does not guarantee you can perform all editing functions on that site. See the section "Governing SharePoint Designer" later in this chapter for details on how the usage of SharePoint Designer may be limited by site administrators.

SharePoint Designer can only have one site open within an application window. If you attempt to open another site while one is currently open, the new site opens in a new instance of SharePoint Designer.

All SharePoint sites are created based upon a site definition, or template. A template defines the features available by default in that particular type of site. These typically include pre-defined lists and libraries, special pages, and default content. The Site Templates area shows certain common SharePoint templates that you may use to create a new site. Other templates may be available depending upon a server's configuration. Clicking the More Templates icon allows you to browse to a SharePoint server and retrieve the list of templates available in that installation.

The Pages Section

The Pages section of the SharePoint Designer Backstage (File tab) enables you to retrieve recently opened files, or browse for other files to open or import. For the purposes of this section, the word "pages" is very loosely defined, and may also include layouts, style sheets, or other file types.

When you have a SharePoint 2010 site open, you have the ability to open and edit files, not only within the current site, but from other locations as well — even those that are not SharePoint 2010 sites.

NOTE Even though you can open files from older versions of SharePoint, SharePoint Designer 2010 only recognizes the final rendered content of the pages. You cannot manipulate the source material, such as the XSLT of a data view, as you can with SharePoint 2010 artifacts.

The Add Item Section

The Add Item section of Backstage gives you a convenient place to create pages and various other SharePoint artifacts without first drilling into the section dedicated to a particular type. The types of items available may vary depending upon the site you have open. Figure 1-8 shows a typical array of choices for Add Item.

You can find brief introductions to these artifacts throughout this chapter. Later chapters describe in detail how SharePoint Designer allows you to manipulate most of them.

The Help Section

The Help section of Backstage, shown in Figure 1-9, provides tools and information relating to SharePoint Designer itself.

The right half of the page is taken up by the "about" information. This tells you the precise version and patch level of SharePoint Designer. It also includes copyright information, as well as what licensing mode the product is in (such as Trial, or Activated).

The Support zone gives links to different kinds of help, from classic-style pop-up window help to online support resources. Certain aspects of this help are only available if you are connected to the Internet.

The Tools zone allows you to check for newer versions of SharePoint Designer, or change various program settings. These settings are described in more detail in the next section.

SharePoint Designer Application Options

When you click the Options link in the Tools zone, or the options button in the Help section, instead of a new section page, the SharePoint Designer Options dialog appears. From here, you can control many aspects of your SharePoint Designer experience.

In addition, some items in the Options dialog are shared across all the Microsoft Office 2010 applications you have installed. Where an (otherwise shared) option is not relevant to your current SharePoint Designer configuration, that section of the Options dialog appears grayed out.

Like many aspects of SharePoint Designer 2010, this dialog is made up of pages selected from a list along the left-hand side. The following sections describe each of these pages in detail.

The General Page

The General page of the SharePoint Designer Options dialog is shown in Figure 1-10.

One option on this page is the Color Scheme. Your choice of Silver, Black, or Blue for the tabs and trim in SharePoint Designer also impacts Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

The General page also contains two buttons: Application Options and Page Editor Options. Chapter 2 covers the Page Editor Options. Clicking Application Options summons the dialog shown in Figure 1-11.

This dialog has two tabs: the General tab (shown — and yes, many tabs are called General in SharePoint Designer) and the Configure Editors tab. Most of the items in the General tab are SharePoint Designer settings such as whether to open the most recent site automatically; they are simple checkboxes and should be self-explanatory.

The Proxy Settings button allows you to quickly access your PC's settings for connecting to files on the Internet. These settings are actually controlled by Internet Explorer and shared across most applications on the PC.

The Configure Editors tab, shown in Figure 1-12, allows you to determine which application(s) you want used to edit files of various types.

Most file types you will encounter when editing SharePoint sites are already defined. Many are set by default to be edited within SharePoint Designer. Files created by Microsoft Office applications default to using the application that created them. If you want, however, you may add new types or reassign existing file types for editing by any application installed on your PC.

The Language Page

Figure 1-13 shows the Language page of the SharePoint Designer Options dialog.

Here, you can install new proofing tools and select the user-interface languages for SharePoint Designer. The languages available depend upon the working languages installed on both your client PC and with SharePoint Designer.

The Customize Ribbon Page

Figure 1-14 shows the Customize Ribbon page of the SharePoint Designer Options dialog.

Like the Quick Access Toolbar, the ribbon in SharePoint Designer 2010 is highly customizable. You use steps similar to those used in the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) Try It Out later in this chapter.

One major difference between customizing the QAT and customizing the ribbon is the fact that the QAT is a single, linear array of icons. The ribbon, on the other hand, is a hierarchical structure. In other words, the ribbon is made up of containers, which contain other containers, and so on, until you ultimately find the icons for the commands.

The two main levels of the ribbon container are Tab and Group. Tabs are shown across the top of the SharePoint Designer window, just below the title bar. Within a tab are one or more groups of command icons.

Create and Delete a Custom Ribbon Tab

1. Open a site with SharePoint Designer 2010.

2. Click the File tab.

3. Click the Help section heading.


Excerpted from Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010 by Woodrow W. Windischman Bryan Phillips Asif Rehmani Marcy Kellar Copyright © 2011 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Excerpted by permission of John Wiley & Sons. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Woodrow W. Windischman is an internationally experienced IT consultant and a Microsoft MVP in SharePoint Server.

Asif Rehmani is a trainer and consultant at SharePoint-Videos.com. He is a SharePoint Server MVP and MCT.

Bryan Phillips is a consultant and senior partner with Composable Systems, LLC. He is a Microsoft MVP in SharePoint Services.

Marcy Kellar is a user experience architect and cofounder of SharePoint Soapbox, LLC. She specializes in strategizing content and design on the SharePoint platform.

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