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Customizing MOSS 2007, WSS v3 and ASP.NET 2.0 Master Pages

By shane.perran in : SharePoint, SharePoint 2007 // May 29 2006

From Microsoft Office Word 2007 to my WordPress Blog

Interface Customization in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services Version 3 revolve around ASP.NET 2.0 Master Pages.
By Default a WSS site (such as a Team Site) consists of:

  1. A Master Page (multiple possible) (control the layout of a site) which is located in the _catalogs folder
  1. Content Pages (control the content of a site) which are defined in the master page.  Can be anything from text, to complex server controls. (Place Holders Look Like This) asp:ContentPlaceHolder id=OVER-RIDE-THESE-AT-THE-PAGE-LEVEL  runat=”server”
  1. Long story short to customize the next version of SharePoint:

    1. Grab yourself a copy of SharePoint Designer 2007 (Formerly known as FrontPage 200* and a few other choice terms).
    1. Open your default.master and edit it for any “layout” changes you wish.
    1. To edit the page contents you will want to overwrite your content place holders.

    Here are the default content place holders for a Windows SharePoint Services Version 3 site.  (This was based on a Team Site but I think they all have the same place holders by default).
    o    PlaceHolderPageTitle
    o    PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead
    o    PlaceHolderGlobalNavigation
    o    PlaceHolderSiteName
    o    PlaceHolderSearchArea
    o    PlaceHolderTopNavBar
    o    PlaceHolderHorizontalNav
    o    WSSDesignConsole
    o    SPNavigation
    o    PlaceHolderPageImage
    o    PlaceHolderTitleLeftBorder
    o    PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb
    o    PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea
    o    PlaceHolderMiniConsole
    o    PlaceHolderTitleRightMargin
    o    PlaceHolderTitleAreaSeparator
    o    PlaceHolderLeftNavBarDataSource
    o    PlaceHolderCalendarNavigator
    o    PlaceHolderLeftNavBarTop
    o    PlaceHolderLeftNavBar
    o    PlaceHolderLeftActions
    o    PlaceHolderNavSpacer
    o    PlaceHolderLeftNavBarBorder
    o    PlaceHolderBodyLeftBorder
    o    PlaceHolderPageDescription
    o    PlaceHolderMain
    o    PlaceHolderBodyRightMargin
    o    PlaceHolderFormDigest
    o    PlaceHolderUtilityContent
    o    PlaceHolderBodyAreaClass
    o    PlaceHolderTitleAreaClass
    Don’t forget that the next version of WSS v3 has CMS (Content Management Server) embedded as well.

    There are already some great web casts available to help you quickly come up to speed with customization, I would strongly recommend:
    Andrew Connells “The evolution of CMS in SharePoint 2007 http://andrewconnell.com/blog/archive/2006/03/28/2894.aspx 

    Ted Pattisons Office Developer Screencast on Master Pages.

    In the event you are one of 4 people “not” subscribed to Scott Guthrie’s Blog, you’ll want to change that ASAP. http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/
    Happy Customizing,

About the Author

shane.perran has written 606 articles for SharePoint Nation.

3 Responses to "Customizing MOSS 2007, WSS v3 and ASP.NET 2.0 Master Pages"

  1. Jim Raley September 10, 2006 11:27 pm

    In a current project (MOSS 2007), I tried to simply clone the default.master page, add some static html, and applied my result to a test.aspx page. It failed to render. What was the html? A simple “hello world” above the “view all content” area. I want to put a static navigation in that area (client request).
    I used FrontPage Designer 2007.

  2. shane September 11, 2006 4:34 am


    There could be several things but without seeing the code and error I can’t say for sure obviously.

    My initial guesses would be:

    1) You removed a placeholder that a content page is trying to merge a control into.

    2) The tokens at the top of the page were somehow altered. – This can sometimes be unknown to the user and SPD 2007/FrontPage can edit it automatically.

    3) The page is being stored in a location outside the master.page gallery and for security reasons cannot be used.

    4) If you are using MOSS, I would read up more on content types + page layouts as that’s the best way to handle customizing a test.aspx type page.

    Let us know how you do – good luck!

  3. Nita Arvind March 5, 2007 11:07 pm

    Hi Shane,
    I hope you can help me with this.
    I am new to MOSS2007. I have created a masterpage of my own called ‘b.master’.I am using my own CSS too, called b.css. I am using it as the system and site master page for my site. I am having a problem with placeholderMiniConsole. No matter where ever i put it- outside a table or inside a table – it still renders a few millimeters below the intended position. Would you know where this place holder might be used apart from the WIKI? Is there a way i can get it to obediently display where i want it to display? Or are there other ways i can get to display the edit options to the WIKI?

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