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Customizing Master Pages with SharePoint Designer

  Asked By: Joseph    Date: Dec 18    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1573

I now tell end users that it is OK to customize their
instance pages. However, I don't personally think that
people should customize Master Pages using SharePoint



3 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Trinity Scott     Answered On: Dec 18

I am a great believer in using SharePoint Designer to a certain level. I
tell people that it can be done and personally I like the SharePoint Designer
interface and think it is a great tool for customisation. However there are some
slight problems with this method:

1. Very easy to modify the main default master  pages - too many ways of breaking
other things
2. SharePoint Designer exposes "too much" of the Site Collection or site to the
3. If you have multiple site collections you need to copy the master page to all
the Master Page Galleries
4. Can increase the size of the master page and associated files within the

I am sure there are others, the ideal way would be to use Visual Studio and
create a feature that would allow you enable the master page. This would also
mean that the master page could exist as a physical file not a file that exists
in the content database for that site collection or site.

I think it is a personal view as to whether or not you use SharePoint Designer.
I do and think it is great, however depending on the project I am using will use
Visual Studio and create Site Definitions etc etc. Anyway hope this helps.

Answer #2    Answered By: Constance Guerrero     Answered On: Dec 18

The purpose of a Master page is to provide wide sweeping alterations to
all the pages  upon which they are based. Customizing a Master Page
within the context of a specific site will copy the "IT managed, site
definition-based, file-system Master Page on the Web Server" and place
that snapshot of that page into the content database's AllDocs table.
Subsequent alterations of the "IT managed, site definition-based,
file-system Master Page" located on the Web Server will not be reflected
in the customized Master Page in the site where the Master Page was
customized (unghosted). There are some rare occasions where this is what
is intended, but I think that most Master Page alterations should be
performed by qualified ASP.NET developers on "IT managed, site
definition-based, file-system Master Pages". Use SPD to customize  an
instance page, but use VS.NET to customize the Master Page upon which
they are based.

Does that help?

Answer #3    Answered By: Caleb Gordon     Answered On: Dec 18

I wasn't aware that SharePoint
Designer _always_ unghosts pages  it changes. It does seem wise not to
create two separate points for modification of a single Master Page (file
system and database).

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