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Plan Web page authoring (SharePoint Server 2010)


Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010

Web page authoring is the process by which authors add content to a publishing site such as a public-facing Internet site. Web page authoring is available on a site when you create a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 site by using one of the publishing site templates, or when the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature is activated for a site collection and the SharePoint Server Publishing feature is activated for a site. For information about publishing site templates, see Sites and site collections overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

Before reading this article, you should read Plan Web pages (SharePoint Server 2010), which describes page layouts, field controls, and other elements of Web pages that are mentioned in this article. This article describes the steps involved in planning how Web pages are authored. This article does not describe how to author Web pages.

In this article:

  • About planning Web page authoring

  • Plan ribbon authoring experience

  • Plan managed metadata

  • Plan reusable content

  • Plan dictionary customizations

  • Plan additional resources

  • Web page authoring planning worksheet

About planning Web page authoring

Planning Web pages involves understanding how Web pages are designed and deciding which elements belong on the Web pages for your site. Planning Web page authoring involves understanding how Web pages are created. SharePoint Server 2010 supports browser-based authoring. Content creators work directly in the Web browser by using SharePoint Server 2010 browser-based editing features such as the Format Text tab under Editing Tools on the ribbon.

Planning browser-based authoring includes planning which resources, page layouts, supporting content, such as images and videos, and commands to hide from or show to authors and planning the editing experience in the field controls in which authors create content. It also includes planning for reusable content, planning dictionary customizations, and planning for additional resources that are needed by page authors.

A related set of planning considerations — planning how content will be approved and published — is discussed in Plan content approval and scheduling (SharePoint Server 2010).

Plan ribbon authoring experience

The ribbon contains UI elements that provide access to page editing commands and related tools, together with publishing and workflow commands, in addition to most other commands in SharePoint Server 2010. This ribbon is available to team members who have at least the Contribute permission level.

When a page is checked out for editing, and the pointer is positioned in the Page Content field, Editing Tools is displayed. Editing Tools contains the Format Text tab and the Insert tab, which contain the commands that authors use to format text and insert content elements, such as images, links, and reusable content. The following illustration shows the ribbon with the Format Text tab displayed:

Format Text menu

Other contextual tabs or groups of tabs are displayed, based on the page element that is selected. For example, if you insert a table onto a page, Table Tools is displayed, and contains a Layout tab and a Design tab.

You can plan and implement new ribbon commands to provide added functionality for your content team. For example, if your organization has a process for creating and incorporating images in your documents that you want to automate, you can add a command to the Page tab on the ribbon.

You can customize the ribbon to provide additional features to authors or to restrict them from using some features.

  • Add buttons to provide new functionality  You can add new features to SharePoint Server 2010 and provide buttons on the ribbon to give authors access to the features. For example, if your publishing site is used to create highly technical content, you could add an equation editor feature and provide a button for authors to access it.

  • Add inline styles   You can replace the default styles that are available by adding or overriding styles in a style sheet. When you do this, authors can select the styles that are available for the current selection by using the Styles command on the contextual menu for the selected element. You can create custom styles for text, markup, images and the Media Web Part player. You can also upgrade styles from Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. For information about how to customize inline styles, see How to: Customize Styles.

  • Add table styles The ribbon includes a set of predefined table styles that can be customized to fit the styling of a single page. Each table style consists of a collection of cascading style sheets classes for each table tag. For example, you can customize the appearance of the first and last rows of a table, the odd and even rows, or the first and last column.

  • Customize image picker locations In any field that includes a command to insert an image, you can add custom links to the list of default locations listed in the image picker dialog box. For more information, see How to: Customize the asset picker.

  • Restrict access to editing features As described in Plan Web pages (SharePoint Server 2010), you can restrict how much freedom authors have to format their Web page content or to add items such as images and hyperlinks to pages in your site by restricting access to editing features. By opening your site in Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 you can edit the tags that are associated with field controls to disable the ribbon buttons that authors can use when they edit pages. For example, you can disable the buttons that enable authors to:

    • Set fonts

    • Link to external addresses

    • Add headings to content

    • Make text bold, italic, or underlined

    • Add tables

For information about how to add, replace, and remove controls, groups and tabs on the ribbon, see Customizing the Server Ribbon.

In addition to implementing a command as a menu command, you can also implement a command as a button on the Quick Access Toolbar. The Quick Access Toolbar makes frequently used commands available. To add buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar, you must edit the master page. The following illustration shows the Quick Access Toolbar:

Quick Access Toolbar

When you plan for Web page authoring, consider whether you want to add or remove commands from the ribbon or the Quick Access Toolbar. Also consider the level of access you want content authors to have to editing features and what kinds of styles that you want to make available. What are the commands, and where should they be added? Make a list of any commands that are needed, the toolbar location where they should be added, whether a button is needed on the Quick Access Toolbar, and whether any additional locations have to be added to the image picker locations.

Plan managed metadata

As you plan your Web site, you must consider how managed metadata can help organize and display content pages and other data. Having a thorough and meaningful taxonomy for content authors to use is essential to building a successful site that requires minimal maintenance. Having the right set of terms for your site enables you to create rules which help organize pages into folders. Good content organization simplifies the search for information and increases the query speed. For more information about managed metadata, see Managed metadata overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

When you create page layouts that authors will use to create new Web pages, you can add field controls such as text boxes and drop-down lists that contain a predetermined value or that restrict the kind of information authors are allowed to put on a page. You can also use managed metadata to add contextual information to a page, which enables you to do the following:

  • Create a custom query that is made for the page.

  • Display the appropriate navigation.

  • Determine what related data fits best, and display it on the page.

For example, on a travel Web site, you could create a page layout for specific travel destinations that contains a managed keywords field for recreational activities and a Content Query Web Part. A page author who creates a page for a specific travel destination can select from a specified list of recreational activities for that destination. When a page reader views the page, the Content Query Web Part can display a list of other travel destinations that also contain those tags.

As you plan for Web page authoring, consider whether you want to add managed metadata to your page layouts for page authors to use. How will the metadata be used? What terms and term sets are needed? Who will own the term sets, and how will they be managed? For more information about how to plan managed metadata, see Plan terms and term sets (SharePoint Server 2010) and Plan managed metadata (SharePoint Server 2010).

Plan reusable content

The top-level site in a publishing site collection includes a Reusable Content list that is available to every site below it in the site hierarchy in which the SharePoint Server Publishing feature is activated. Reusable content items can be implemented as HTML or as text. By using the Reusable Content command on the Insert tab under Editing Tools on the ribbon, authors can select from a predefined list of content, or they can view a list of all available content and then insert it. For example, if your organization requires that specific marketing text be used when describing a particular product, you can create an item that contains the required description. When a user adds that reusable content item to a page, the text automatically is added to the page.

When you create a reusable content item in the Reusable Content list, you can specify that it be shown in the drop-down menu during page editing. You can also specify whether it can be automatically updated.

  • You specify that an item is automatically updated.   Authors cannot change the item after they insert it on a page. For example, you can implement a copyright statement or a company's name, address, and other contact information as an item that can be automatically updated. Doing this helps prevent authors from incorrectly using those items, and it ensures consistency across all Web pages where the items are used.

    When an author inserts an automatically updated item on a page, the URL of the Reusable Content list item is inserted instead of the contents of the item. When a Web browser loads a page that contains an automatically updated item, the Web browser replaces the URL with the contents of the item. Therefore, changes to automatically updated items in the Reusable Content list do not have to be propagated to pages that use them. They are immediately available the next time that a page is opened in a Web browser.

  • You do not specify that an item is automatically updated.   Authors can change the item after they insert it on a page. This is useful if you want to define the correct form for a block of content, but you want authors to provide the content itself. For example, in a site that provides product descriptions, in which you want each description to follow a particular tabular format, you could create a generic product description table item in the Reusable Content list, which authors could insert and then overwrite.

Plan dictionary customizations

The Format Text tab under Editing Tools includes a Spelling command that checks the spelling of content in all fields on a page that contains HTML content. The Spelling command indicates spelling errors and provides commands for fixing or ignoring them.

You can add a custom dictionary to your publishing site to prevent words that are unique to your content from being reported as spelling errors. For example, if your site includes unique product names, you can add them to the custom dictionary. Make a list of all product names, frequently used acronyms, and other words that you want to be included in a custom dictionary for your site.

Plan additional resources

When you create a publishing site, SharePoint Server 2010 creates the libraries that are listed in the following table. You can use these libraries to store additional resources that content creators can use.

Use this location To store these items That apply to this level in the site hierarchy

Master Page Gallery

Master pages and page layouts

Site collection


Documents used in page authoring

Current site

Site Collection Documents

Documents used in page authoring

Site collection


Images used in page authoring

Current site

Site Collection Images

Images used in page authoring

Site collection

Style Library

Custom cascading style sheets and Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) styles

Site collection

When users insert an image or link into a page, the Select an Asset window enables them to browse the contents of the current site's lists and libraries, together with the Site Collection Documents library and the Site Collection Images library. You can also use the Suggested Content Browser Locations list to add links to other SharePoint Server 2010 libraries that contain resources to be included on Web pages. When a user inserts an image or link into a Web Part, the links are displayed in the Suggested locations menu of the Select an Asset window.

When you plan for Web page authoring, consider the kinds of additional resources that page authors might need. Think about who will create those resources, and where you want them to be stored. If some resources are located in other sites, make a list of what those resources are and where they are located so they can be added to the Suggested Content Browser Locations list.

Web page authoring planning worksheet

Download an Excel version of the Web Page authoring planning worksheet. Use this worksheet to record your Web page authoring decisions for a type of content.

See Also


Plan Web pages (SharePoint Server 2010)
Plan content approval and scheduling (SharePoint Server 2010)