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In SharePoint 2010 Essential Training, author Simon Allardice demonstrates the full feature set in SharePoint 2010 and the necessary skills to be a SharePoint site administrator. The course shows how to use SharePoint, create sites and site collections, and plan and design sites and portals. It also covers Office integration, security and permissions, and advanced features such as document management and business intelligence.
If you have the ability to create a site, then you also have the ability to customize it and by a customize it, I mean everything from change the lists and libraries that the site is made of, to changing the navigation, color scheme, the pages, and the overall layout of the site. Now we've already seen how to create lists and libraries and how to do basic page editing. One of the most important things for customizing a site is under your Site Actions menu and it's that Site Settings option, and in fact if I could make two of these link show up as glowing and important when you're talking about understanding and customizing your site, it would be View All Site Content to really understand what lists and libraries you have and Site Settings to change a lot of the underlying settings of this site.
Bear in mind, you have a different site settings page for every single site in every single site collection in your SharePoint farm and in the same way, you have settings pages, every list, and every single library in every single site collection. Now your site settings page will almost certainly look a little different from mine, because these options change based on your SharePoint license and what kind of site you're in, but many of the options that you'll see on this page will be the same. You can do quite a bit of basic customization from the Look and Feel section, everything from changing the title, description, and even the URL of your site to changing the site theme.
This will allow you to select from a group of predefined color schemes, some of which are usable and some of which are pretty terrible in my opinion. Let's change this to Berry. We can click the Preview button without actually making the commitment to that theme. Look at that and think, yeah no, no, really no. In fact, you can yourself select multiple colors for your backgrounds and your accent colors. This is not as straightforward as I would've liked it to have been. What Microsoft is doing with the idea of a theme is they are using the same theme idea across PowerPoint and Word and all of the Office applications, and unfortunately it doesn't make it all that obvious for our use in SharePoint.
For example, we have got the Text/ Background Dark 1, Light 1, Dark 2, and Light 2. Not really all that obvious which bit is the bit of the page that I'm actually looking at. Which bit, for example, is the regular text when I have multiple accents? What does a heading look like? So you may have to do a bit of experimentation if you want to create your own color schemes. I'd start off by looking at some of the pre-provided ones. Let's say for example we take Construct, we give that a preview. That's okay.
It doesn't look too offensive. So I am going to click Apply, and we now have a new theme for this SharePoint site. We are back in the Look and Feel. I have two links here one for the Quick Launch bar and one for the top link bar. That really means the navigation that you are seeing on the left and in fact, you can see it match up right now. We have a Libraries heading, a Lists heading, a Calendar link, Team Discussion link, you can add your own navigation links that can either be links to libraries and list inside SharePoint or you could even just link to a completely external site.
You can choose whether it goes under a particular heading, such as Libraries or Lists, click OK, and we now have an entry added to our Quick Launch bar. Very, very simple. Going back to the Site Settings, I am going to use the breadcrumb here. We could do the same thing on the top link bar, which right now not surprisingly just has one entry, Home, because this is our top link bar. Again, by default, your top link bar typically shows the address of sub-sites, whereas your Quick Launch bar shows the contents of the current site that you're in.
Like any navigation on the web, that doesn't have to be true, but it's a typical SharePoint idea, so you might not want to mess with all that much. Let's say I wanted to delete the link that I just entered on my Quick Launch bar. Sometimes it's little bit odd, because a lot of people expect to find a SharePoint style mouseover to be able to delete this,and there isn't one. What actually happens is the icon itself is clickable. So if I select that one, I can then come in and either edit it or click the Delete button. Back up into our Site Settings.
Now if you are looking at your Look and Feel section and you don't see a Quick Launch link and a Top link bar link, instead you see something that says Navigation, that's because you're looking at a site that has what's called the publishing feature enabled, and that's one of the things that can change some of the links that you will see. We will talk about publishing a little later, but the idea of features in SharePoint is an interesting one. Now usually when we say the word feature, we mean something very general. I can say a phrase like, oh, collaboration is a feature of SharePoint.
Yeah but that's not what I mean here. SharePoint is made of features and in fact under my Site Actions section, I have an option that says Manage Site Features. In SharePoint, feature means something very specific. Feature means a chunk of functionality that can be turned on or off, the term that we use is activated or deactivated, and if I look at my Site Settings, I have a bunch of features here that are turned off. I can activate the Content Organizer or whatever that is.
We haven't covered that yet. Group Work Lists, Hold and eDiscovery. You can see that I have several of these features already activated like the Team Collaboration Lists. That means we can have document libraries and tasks lists, that kind of thing, and the ability to have Offline Synchronization with things like Outlook and SharePoint Workspace. That's turned or activated. I could choose to deactivate it, if I wanted. Now, we are not going to go through every single feature in SharePoint, but know that you as a site owner or site collection administrator will often be called on to activate or deactivate features inside SharePoint.
The reason that Microsoft did it this way is that SharePoint is so big that they couldn't possibly ship it with all the features turned on, because you'd find a thousand different menus and a thousand different dropdowns at every stage. So they actually turned off a lot of them. You have to know they're there so you can turn them on. Some features are turned on for the site and some features can be turned on for the site collection. Where do you go if you want to turn on the site collection? We actually go to the same place. I am in my Site Settings area here and I actually have a section down here that says Site Collection Administration.
Now there is no option here, because it's actually telling me, "oh well, to go here you have to go to the top- level site," which kind of makes sense. I am going to click that link. I am now jumping into the Site Settings of the top level site, and what I have here is a whole bunch of site collection settings, things like search settings, settings for the Recycle Bin, Settings for auditing and reporting, and one of the options here is about features. We have features that can be turned on or off at the site collection.
These are different features. So, depending on how Microsoft or even your own developers have written them, some features are activated at the site level; other features are activated at the site collection level. Now, learning all the different features in SharePoint can take months. The idea, of course, is that you typically find the ones you need when you need them. You don't have to know exactly what every single one is right off the bat. Now, we're going to be exploring a few more of these options here in Site Settings. We are going to see things like master pages and Web Parts, but if you're a site owner or better yet a site collection administrator, you'll be called on to customize sites, to change navigation, and to turn features on or off for your sites.
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