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So, here's how to add a user to a SharePoint site. You're going to go to your Site Actions menu and come down to Site Permissions. In this first screen, what we're actually looking at are those three groups that I mentioned: the Owners group, the Members group, and the Visitors group. If you look over here, it's being explicit that the Visitors group gets Read permission level. The Owners group gets Full Control permission level. The Members group gets Contribute permission level. There are a couple of other entries in here, which I would say right now you can safely ignore. They are kind of being used for little one-off reasons inside SharePoint, and internal reasons.
Visitors, Members, and Owners are the classic three SharePoint groups to work with. If I look at the Owners group, what I actually find in here, I've got two people in there. There's me and Hedda Conway. They are both owners. They can create sites in this site collection. They can manipulate sites. They can create and delete lists and libraries or even delete entire sites. If I go to my Visitors group, I don't have anybody there. If I go to my Members group, I don't have anybody there. Let's say I want to give one person just visiting access or read access.
I'm going to click on the Visitors group, which said there is nobody there. Under the New option say Add Users. You can either use an individual name. In this case, I'm going to use gini. I can hit Ctrl+K just to make sure this gets looked up in SharePoint. Yes, it knows who gini is, and click OK. Gini is now in the Visitors group, which means she has Read access and only Read access to this site. A couple of minutes ago, if she had tried to come to this site, she would have gotten Access Denied. Now, when she comes to this site, she'd be able to see things but not change anything.
Most people, however, in your collaboration sites will be expected to be in the Members group. Most people will be expected to change and edit this site. So, what if I have a lot of people that I want to add? Well, here's what you should do. You should think about any existing Active Directory groups, any distribution lists, any groups that already exist in your organization, because SharePoint will probably understand those groups. So, in Members, I'm going to add users here, but instead of using individual names, I know that I've got a group called Operations which IT take care of.
They take care of people when they join the company, being put into that group or when they move out being taken out it. So, by just adding Operations here, what that means is anybody inside that group is now considered a member on this site. They are a contributor on this site. They can change and edit list items and library items, but they can't create new sites and they can't change the look and feel of the site that they're in. I just made my life easier, because by adding an Active Directory group or a distribution list that's being taken care of by somebody else, well, they can continue taking care of that, adding and removing people from it, and I just use the fruits of their labor.
I'm going back to my Site Permissions. Well, you can create different groups, and I'll show exactly how. There's a couple of things that you might want to look at, such as permission levels, which tells you what are the permission levels that SharePoint knows about. In this case, it knows about a couple more than we've seen so far. Not only does it know about Full Control, but it knows about Design and Limited Access. Now, a lot of these you won't have to use. Again, the big three are Full Control, Contribute, and Read, but Design is an interesting one.
Design is little bit between Contribute and Full Control. Sometimes, Contribute is not enough. If you are only a contributor, you could not, for example, make a change to a page and rearrange Web Parts on the homepage. But if you have Full Control, then you could even delete entire sites. So, Design gives you a little bit in between there. You can do everything that a contributer can, you can also customize the look of a SharePoint site, but you can't make new sites. You can even create your own permission levels that are combinations of little tiny pieces within SharePoint. I don't suggest it if you don't know for sure that's something that you want to do.
Now, remember that, I'm going back to my Permissions screen, when I create a site, permission levels that I set on the top level site will automatically filter down. That's the thing that I'd like to keep as much as possible. So, right now, on my top level site, I'm in a team site here and I have a blank site beneath it as a sub-site. The permissions to this sub-site will be exactly the same as the parent. In fact, I am in this sub-site right now. It may not look all that obvious, but if I look at my Navigate Up button, I can see that I am inside team site, inside a site called Blank and on the homepage of that one.
If I go to its site permissions, what you're going to see is a message here saying this website inherits permissions from its parent. I do have an option to stop inheriting permissions, and then copy all those entries across and start changing them. But as much as possible, you want to avoid that. it's much easier to allow permission levels to filter down to a new site. If they are significantly different, you should really be thinking about making a new site collection.
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