Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Accidental SharePoint Designer 101

I fully profess to know little to nothing about SharePoint, but I occasionally get pulled into setting up little sites or adding web parts for some of my reporting and business intelligence work.  Each time, I have to relearn the start-up steps to create what is needed!  So I decided to record a few of my go-to places so I can remember next time.  I used SharePoint 2010 to document the below steps, but the directions may be applicable to other versions.  Also, these steps assume you have full control of your site.

Getting Started

The first step is start editing the page rather than looking at it like an end user.  Do this by:

  1. Select the Page tab at the top of the screen
  2. Click the Edit Page button/drop down list
  3. Select the Edit Page option

PS. When you're done, do these same steps, except select the "Stop Editing" button.

Content Creation

You may need to create a document library, a list, or another type of container.  I like to create my content first because it makes the design portion later. To do this:

  1. On the Site Actions menu in the top left corner, select the appropriate content creation option:
    • New Document Library
    • New Site
    • More Options
  2. Specify the important info, and be sure you're happy with the view of everything

Web Part Addition

As long as you're in editing mode, this is straightforward: Just select the Add a Web Part link where you want your web part.

PS. this is where creating your content comes in handy because you can select your content without having to pick the web part type.

Web Part Editing

To make any changes to the web part, such as style, name, or option, you can do that in the page itself.  To do this:

  1. In editing mode, hover your mouse over the web part you want to modify
  2. On the right side of the toolbar (at the top of the web part, next to the title), click the down arrow
  3. Click the Edit Web Part menu option
  4. On the right side of the screen, make any setting changes you would like, and be sure to select the OK button at the bottom.

Color and Style

Next, we want to make the color and style to match either the rest of the system or to match our own colors! Change this by:

  1. On the Site Actions menu in the top left corner, select the Site Settings option
  2. Under the Look and Feel section, click the Site theme link
  3. Either inherit your parent's theme, specify your own theme, or customize your color options

Left Navigation Menu

My usual goal is to make the page look less "SharePoint-y", which includes removing the items from the left navigation menu and making links to other sites or pages within the site.  You can change the menu by:

  1. On the Site Actions menu in the top left corner, select the Site Settings option
  2. Under the Look and Feel section, click the Navigation link
  3. Scroll down to Navigation Editing and Sorting and have fun playing!

Security

Hopefully, someone is going to use the page that you just put so much time and energy into!  So we need to give those people access.  Do this by:

  1. On the Site Actions menu in the top left corner, select the Site Permissions option
  2. Give access to either Windows or SharePoint groups and decide what permission they get

PS. It is important have a good security plan in place, and hopefully you can work with your SharePoint administrator on this.

Good luck if you end up an "accidental SharePoint designer" like me!

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