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1/9/2009

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MOSS Content Management Tips

I've been getting a lot of questions lately regarding a procedure on how to use out-of-the-box MOSS functionality to customize pages within a publishing portal. Therefore, I thought I'd write one up real quick and post it here.

Like I said, this is out-of-the-box functionality, so I want to stay high level. The only technical details to be aware of is that you'll need a flavor of MOSS (not just WSS) installed, and at least "Design" permissions on the site you plan to customize.

Adding HTML To A Page

  1. From the "Site Actions" menu, select "Edit Page" when viewing the page you want to edit.  

    Site Actions Edit Page

  2. This will put the page into edit mode, and explicitly check it out.

    Page Checked Out

  3. One any web part zone, click "Add a Web Part."

    Add A Web Part

  4. A box will popup containing all of the web parts installed and activated on the current site.  Check the box next to "Content Editor Web Part" and click "Add."  

    Add Web Part To Zone

  5. The web part is added to the selected zone, with no content.

    Content Editor Web Part

  6. Click the "open the tool pane" link to edit the web part's properties.  The following tool part will be loaded on the right side of the screen.

    Content Editor Web Part Tool Part

  7. Click the "Rich Text Editor..." button to launch the SharePoint WYSIWUG rich text editor.  A new window pops up where you can create your content.  A shortcut is to first enter your text into a more familiar tool, such as Word, and then copy-and-pasting the contents of the document into this editor.  Now, this won't be perfect, but could help you get the job done a lot faster.  Click "OK" when you're done.

    Rich Text Editor

  8. For a more professional look (especially on public-facing web sites), we'll want to turn off the standard SharePoint menu for this webpart.  To do this, first click the "+" icon next to the "Appearance" section.

    Content Editor Web Part Appearance

  9. Change the "Chrome Type" drop down at the end of this section to "None."  Then click "OK."

    Content Editor Web Part Appearance Chrome Type

  10. You'll see your content in the page, which is still in edit mode; now you have some options.  If you want to preview what your page currently would look like in display mode, select "Preview in New Window" from the "Tools" drop down in the edit bar. (Note: You might have to allow pop ups, based on your browser settings.)

    Page Preview

    Note: You might have to allow pop ups, based on your browser settings.)

    Preview In New Window

  11. If you are completely satisfied with the page and feel it's ready for the world to see, click "Publish" in the edit bar: (Note: if there are any approval workflows on the "page" document library that holds this site's pages, they will need to be completed before the page's changes are made public.)

    Publish Page

  12. If you're done editing for now, but not ready to publish, click the "Check In to Share Draft" button in the edit bar.  This will check in the page so other people can then check it out to edit it.  However, your changes in this new version of the page will only be viewable by other people with "Design" permissions on the site.

    Check In To Share Draft

  13. If you decide to finish later, you can simply close the browser or navigate to a different page, and SharePoint will keep your changes saved in your own version of this page; they won't be lost.  The only reason this is not advisable is that you have left the page, and might forget to check it in later, leaving it unalterable to other web designers.  The only way to force a check in is with an administrator override.

Changing The Page Layout

  1. From the "Site Actions" menu, select "Edit Page" when viewing the page you want to edit.

    Site Actions Edit Page

  2. This will put the page into edit mode, and explicitly check it out.

    Page Checked Out

  3. From the "Pages" drop down on the edit bar, select "Page Settings."  

    Page Settings

  4. This will load the settings of the list item that contains the page in the site's "Pages" document library.  The second section will contain the page layout.

    Page Layout

  5. Change the selection in this drop down to see a preview (if applicable) for each layout.

    New Page Layout

  6. Click "OK" at the bottom to choose the new layout.  This will shuffle the existing web parts on the page around, but you won't lose any customizations.
  7. As with the procedure above, you can now either keep editing, leave the page checked out, check it in, or publish it.

That's it for now. I'll continue to add more to this posting as I see more specific types of questions being asked. Have fun!

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