Skinning MS SharePoint with standards
~ 30 May 2007 ~
Among the many reasons I might articulate for the relative slowdown in updates and articles around here, Microsoft SharePoint 2007 resides near the top of the list.
For a few weeks now I’ve been completely immersed in not only understanding the app from the viewpoint of a user, but also from that of a developer attempting to skin SharePoint’s templates with our organization’s identity. I’ll refrain from offering a complete analysis of what SharePoint really is (and what it isn’t), but suffice it to say it’s a collaboration tool that offers a lot of nifty features but falls short (way short, in fact) in terms of semantic, accessible markup and “don’t make me think” workflow.
Prior to my arrival, SharePoint was chosen as one of the apps used internally by employees, and I’ve been tasked with not only skinning the look and feel but also cleaning up the code. It’s been an insurmountable task at times, to say the least, but we’ve made some decent progress along the way.
Out of the box, SharePoint looks like this:
Lovely. And don’t even dare glance at the source code. Our customized install of SharePoint, on the other hand, looks roughly like this:
…with much cleaner markup. All of this has required considerable customization, and thus for those of you waging a battle with SharePoint modding, I offer a few resources we’ve used along the way.
- CSS Reference Chart
- Guide to making SharePoint XHTML Compliant
- How to: Create a Minimal Master Page (good luck viewing any MSDN stuff in FF Mac)
- Overriding core.css with multiple stylesheets (see also comment by Dan)
- Customizing the Content Query Web Part and Custom Item Styles
- How to: Customize the Display of Quick Launch (MSDN)
- Customizing and Branding SharePoint Sites (Part 2 of 3): Extending Web Content Management (MSDN)
Other Link Lists
- Heather Solomon: SharePoint Articles
- Sharepoint Scotland: SharePoint Customization
- mossmarks’ del.icio.us bookmarks
- Sharepoint Buzz: Master Page Links
I’ll keep comments open for the three of you dealing with SharePoint in your organization, but please note I can’t offer support for all things SharePoint customization. For that, you’ll need to summon Quan Yin, Buddhist goddess of mercy.
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