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In SharePoint 2010 Getting Started, author Simon Allardice walks through the first few hours a new user will spend with SharePoint working with Web sites, communities, content, and search. This course covers creating and using SharePoint sites, lists and libraries, how SharePoint streamlines teamwork, Office integration, and solutions for workflows and business intelligence.
When you are working with a typical SharePoint site, you will usually be working with the documents and the list items that have been uploaded into that site, but you can change the pages themselves. I am looking at the Homepage of the default Team Site. We have got some placeholder text and some stock photos that we would probably want to get rid of. So if I have the correct permissions, I can shift this page into Edit mode. I can do this in a couple of different ways. There is an icon at the top of your Ribbon that looks like a pencil writing on a page. I can click that one.
What happens is that the Ribbon shift into what are called the Editing tools, and the different sections of the page become directly editable. You can see the cursor blinking in this first section here. I can simply select some text here and start typing. Now, as you can see, the text is in different formats. We have some heading text here, and some more typical body text here. It's all changeable. From this section of the Ribbon, we can do things like work with the alignment of the text.
We can select from what are called Styles. As I mouse over those, it will give me a live preview of what this would look like, or we can even use what are called Markup Styles. For those of you who are Web designers, this is really applying HTML Markup to the individual pieces here. I am going to leave it at the default, which is Colored Heading 1. You can see that we have a small selection of Formatting options here; not as many as you would usually have in Word, but you don't need as many that you would usually have in the Word.
We have the ability to change the Fonts, although there is a limited selection of Fonts available, simply because this is a Web page. If you are working across multiple platforms, you are not sure what Fonts will be available, so we just centralized to the common ones. Most of the time you don't need to change that. There is also the Insert section of the Ribbon, which allows you to insert pictures and tables. If you have used the Table Insert on an Office application like Word, you will probably be familiar with this. As you mouse over different sections of it, it highlights and says you are going to create a Table that has 2 rows by 7 columns, or 4 rows by 3 columns, or 2 rows by 5 columns. Select that.
It inserts the Table into the page, and you can start typing inside it. Now, notice that you also have a new section on the Ribbon called Table tools. It allows you to affect the Layout of it and the Design of it, including having Table Styles. But say if I had made a mistake here, I could actually hit Ctrl+Z, the normal Undo key and undo that. Back on the Insert tab, I do have the ability to do a Link, or to Upload a File, which would also automatically add a link to that file, or to insert a Picture.
Well, actually I do want to insert a Picture, but first of all, I want to get rid of one. I am going to highlight the picture on the second section over here and just hit Delete, and then say I am going to insert a new Picture. To properly use a Picture, I can't just link to something on my own computer. This is a Web site, so the picture needs to be uploaded to the Web site first, and thankfully, this is not the default behavior of this page. I am going to browse to a picture on my Desktop. It's actually in my Pictures Library. It's just a Logo. Click Open.
It's actually going to Upload this to Site Assets. Site Assets is a document library created when this Team Site was made, and this is what it's meant for, to upload things like images into it. I am going to click OK. It says it's a Logo. I can give it a Title, which would be a good practice to do, because this would be alternate text if someone had a browser or a device without images on, and then there we have the Logo. I can do a little basic bit of resizing if I wanted to. I have got some blank lines in here. Get rid of those.
Now, obviously, images in SharePoint are the same as images on any Web site. For the best practices, you want to resize them before you upload them to SharePoint. So a little bit of basic resizing is okay, but you don't want to do a lot here. If I were done and I want to save my changes, I can't just click off this page and go somewhere else. So up on the Ribbon, where I had had the Edit page button, I now have Save & Close. It doesn't really close the page when I click it, but it does save it, and it returns it to the Browse mode.
But let's say I wasn't finished. Well, we had seen this button. There is another way of getting there. If I click the Page section of the Ribbon, it also has an Edit button on it, that we can shift into Edit mode, or from the Site Actions menu, I also have the first option here being Edit Page. What I do want to do here is go back to my Insert section of the Toolbar and talk about this section here called Web Parts. Web Parts are modular pieces of content that you can put on a page. In fact, I am already looking at one here.
This section here that says Shared Documents, when I clicked it, it's surrounded it with a blue box, just to show me that this really is a Web Part. What that means is I can't directly edit this. I can't just change the text of this section, because this whole box is one Web Part. SharePoint has dozens of Web Parts that can be used, for a variety of different reasons, some to show content, some to allow you to interact with it. In this case, this is a Shared Documents Web Part.
It's really a window to the Shared Documents Library. This is not the library itself. It's just showing me if there is anything in the library, and a lot of Web Parts are like that. In fact, if I click on a blank line in this page and say that I want to insert a Web Part, the three options that I get are just a generic Web Part, then Existing List, and New List. What does this mean? Selecting the Existing List option will say, well, I have got Web Parts available for the list on this Web site: the Announcements List, the Calendar List, the Customized Reports, Shared Documents, Site Pages, Tasks, and Team Discussion.
Now, many of the Lists and Libraries you have on your site you don't need to show in a Web Part. You can just use the Libraries and the Lists themselves. But I could select, for example, the Announcements Web Part. Over here it says, where am I going to add? Add to Rich Content. We will see what that does. Click Add. Now we have the Announcements Web Part. If I click beside the word Announcements here, the whole thing will highlight, again, showing me that this is a Web Part. In fact, the Web Parts themselves are configurable in a couple of different ways.
With this Web Part selected, I do see a section of the Ribbon called Web Part tools, where I can affect the Properties or the Settings of the Web Part. Insert Related Lists, some lists can be connected to other lists. Delete the Web Part and Minimize it. We can also get to a lot of these options from each individual Web Part by selecting this dropdown arrow, where I can then select Minimize. Minimize is taking me down to just really the Title bar. Restore, getting the contents back up.
I can Close a Web Part, or I can Delete it. Now, what's the difference here? Well, if I just Close the Web Part, it will then still be available on this page if I want to re-add it. Well, if I Close the Web Part, it effectively just makes it invisible. If before I had closed it, I had performed some customizations on it and changed what I wanted to do, I can always get those back if it's closed. If it's deleted, however, then any changes I made to that Web Part have gone. I would have to re-add the Web Part and customize it all over again.
Back to my Insert part of the Ribbon. That's what I get if I say I want to add an Existing List. Again, your Web Parts are windows to your data. When you say I am adding a Web Part for an Existing List, well that list better exist. It was quite a common problem in earlier versions of SharePoint that people would say, oh, I want to add a Web Part for a Task List, but I can't find it. The first question would be, well, do you actually have a Task List on your Web site, because if you don't have the Task List, you won't have the Web Part that represents the Task List.
So I can actually choose to do two things at once here in this version of SharePoint. I can say I want to make a New List on the site, and Insert a Web Part representing that list onto the Homepage. So perhaps I wanted to Create a List of useful links. I am going to give it the Title of Useful Links. Select that it's a type of Links List and click OK. So it does two things there, both create the List and add the Web Part representing that list.
However, not all Web Parts have to represent Lists on your site. If you select the generic Web Part option to insert a Web Part, you do have multiple Categories. The first category and the primary one is your Lists and Libraries. But after that you have things like Business Data, Forms, Media and Content. Now, your settings may be different from mine, because a lot of this depends on how your site has been configured and what options you have and even what license you have of SharePoint.
But as you can see, we have things like an Image Viewer, and a Page Viewer, and a Silverlight Web Part. Now, in a short course like this, we are not going to explore every single one of the Web Parts. I do recommend that you check out several of them. Like much of SharePoint, the best way to get to know the different Web Parts is to experiment with them. If you can, get a site that's just your own playground and start customizing it, adding Web Parts to it, customizing the Web Parts, changing the settings of the Web Part. Well, the question is well, how do you change the settings of the Web Part? Well, I am just going to cancel out of this window, because I do now actually have three Web Parts on this page: Shared Documents, Announcements, and Useful Links.
Each Web Part has its own settings. We have already seen that. There is a lot of settings pages in SharePoint. Every Web Part has its own settings. Every List has its own settings. Every page has its own settings. Every site has its own settings. But this Web Part, for example, if I click the dropdown link here, I have Edit Web Part. These are the settings, or the properties of this Web Part. It opens up a section over here on the right that says, what View are we looking at? We can open up this section called Appearance.
I could change the Title and say whether this has a fixed Height and a fixed Width. I have Layout options, which are sometimes relevant, sometimes not. Advanced options, AJAX Options, Miscellaneous options. A lot of the time you won't need to mess with these. You can just use the Web Part in its default fashion, but understand that every Web Part has its own settings. So every Web Part, on every page, on every site, can be customized to do what you want.
One last thing that you can do, and is worth experimenting with, is that if you are changing a page, going back to the Editing tool section of the Ribbon, we can even change the overall layout of the page. There is a section on your Ribbon called Text Layout. This first makes people think that it must be in alignment. Well, Text Layout should be, is it a left, is it a right, but no, it's more to do with the Page Layout here. We can say we want the page to be One column. One column with a sidebar. That's actually the default arrangement.
Two columns with a header and footer, two columns with a header, three columns. If I select the two columns option, well, no big surprise. It just really rearranges my page a little bit here. Now, this Text Layout option is only available to you if you are editing a fairly typical SharePoint collaboration site, like a Team Site or a Document Workspace. Some of the more advanced SharePoint sites, like Publishing Portals, have a feature on them called the Publishing feature. And what that actually does is impose much more control over what the pages look like.
In a lot of cases you can't really have this freedom to change them on the fly. You create them with a particular layout, and they have to keep to that layout. So if you don't see the Text Layout option, that might be one reason why. One thing to know about Text Layout is if you change to say a one-column layout, take a look at that and think, well, that wasn't really what I was after. We can see how it's added the Logo and the Getting Started section to the end of the page now. If I think, well, I have changed my mind, I am going to click and change back to one column with sidebar, well, the changes that you made may unfortunately still keep the content into the collapsed one column where it was.
We do have another column now, but it's not as easily available. In this case, if I was just experimenting and I really wanted to get those changes back, I could reenter everything, although one of the easiest things I could do is come to my Save & Close section, and rather than clicking the Save button, I will click the arrow underneath it, which gives me more options: Save & Close, Save and Keep Editing or Stop Editing. If I select Stop Editing, it will ask me, do you want to save the changes you made to this page? I am going to say No, and it will reload from the last time this was saved.
So that can be useful. The whole idea here is that without HTML skills you can change content on pages. You can add new functionality, and even through the Site Actions menu create new pages and do the same on that page, all done just using your Web browser.
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