Saturday, January 10, 2009

Playing with the Sample master pages for Sharepoint

I have been concentrating on the master pages and the look and the feel for quite some time no, let me tell you creating a custom theme or a master page is not easy work at all, I am a BIGGG fan of heather Solomon, I am referring to the link for the CSS reference and believe me even TechNet cannot provide such details.
That was when I was trying to create a custom theme, i got success to some point but some cases kept me busy, then my VHD crashed, so every thing is gone :( but as said 'A busy bee has no time for sorrow' I will be re doing it again ...

How as I told you that creating a custom site theme and Master page is a Verrrrry big task (believe me). so let checkout the available resources. I came across the a link that contains some sample master pages (how cool is that) so lets explore. (like every one I like things that I get for free ;) )

so the link to download free cool master pages to your site is

Here it gives you a MasterPage.exe file, Save that file on your desktop, Run that .exe extension and save it to a folder, this contains 4 folders that means 4 master pages those are
1. Block
2. Clarity
3. Horizon
4. Reverse
Each type of the master page is made in different colors like blue, purple, red, green, orange

the Big question is how do you make this work which is actually quite simple to do the download has a very easy to understand and read Readme.txt with it.

· Create a Sharepoint site collection
· Open this Sharepoint site from the Sharepoint Designer, for that Open Sharepoint Designer in the File menu, click Open Site. In the Open Site dialog box, type the URL of the site that you want to open in the Site name box, and then click Open.
· Import the master page files into your site.
On the File menu, select Import > File...In the Import dialog box, select Add Folder... Browse to location of the extracted master page files, and then browse to a specific master page, lets suppose you select 'Clarity' Select the "_catalogs" folder and click open. Repeat steps for the "images" folder and the "styles" folder. Click ok to finish importing the files.
That means now you have attached the files necessary for the master page to the Sharepoint site.

· Select the folder _catalogs under the master page menu, open the folder master page now you will see a new list of master pages
1. Clarity_lay1 blue.master
2. Clarity_lay1 green.master
3. Clarity_lay1 orange.master
4. Clarity_lay1 purple.master
5. Clarity_lay1 red.master

so you can select any one of them and set it as Default masterpage from the designer

· Then log in to the site and just go to site actions > site settings > Master pages under Look and feel category and hit the Drop down button select from the master pages and there you go

Some things that I noticed while working with the master pages

· I tried using a Team site template but it just screwed up my master page so use collaboration site template if you are using MOSS
· When you set a master page as default to your site you cannot delete that master page from your site template gallery if you try to do taht it gives you an error this is a known issue with the master pages