Introduction to User Interface of SharePoint Designer 2010

The user interface of SharePoint Designer 2010 has been completely redesigned to "put the 'SharePoint' in SharePoint Designer." All of the important components in a site or solution - lists and content types, views and forms, workflows, data sources and external content types, page layouts and master pages can be easily found and customized. We can also see how components are related to each other.

File Tab

When we start SharePoint Designer 2010, the new File tab makes it easy to get started. There are options to open existing sites or create new sites. We can open pages or sites that we have recently worked with. We can also add new components such as lists and workflows to the current site. A Help menu and Option tab are also available. The Option tab allows us to customize some of the features.


Figure 3

Site Summary Page

SharePoint Designer 2010 has a summary page where we can change settings or manage various aspects of our site, as you can see in Figure 4. We can manage permissions directly from SharePoint Designer 2010. Like every summary page, the site summary page shows related components. We can easily view and navigate to all subsites in the current site.


Figure 4

Navigation Pane

The new improved Navigation pane makes it easy to find and navigate to all of the important components in a site that you use to build a solution. We can just work with the navigation pane to work on different tasks like creating a workflow or lists etc. See Figure 5.


Figure 5

Gallery Pages

Gallery pages are one of the good features in SharePoint Designer 2010, as you can see in Figure 6. It is very easy to find and edit any of the important components of our solution. In the Navigation pane, clicking any component will show you a gallery of all such components in the current site. In the screen shot shown below, we have selected the workflows; we can see the details in the page as shown below. On a gallery page, just click any component to edit it.


Figure 6

Summary Pages

A summary page gives us an all-up interpretation or portal into all of the pieces that make up a module. For example, the summary page for a list shows you the forms and workflows for that list. From a summary page, you can edit the settings for that module like name, permissions or even edit the component itself. Figure 7 shows a summary page.


Figure 7

List & Content Type Editors

We can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to edit all of the important components that comprise a SharePoint solution including lists and content types. As you can see in Figure 8, you use lists and content types to model your data, so these components are often at the core of a solution. SharePoint Designer 2010 also provides a full-page editor for both lists and content types. You can quickly edit the columns and settings of a list or content type in one place, without having to navigate between pages as in the browser.


Figure 8

Navigation Bar

If we navigate through the components in a site, the Navigation bar can help us to understand where we are in the site and how the various components are related to each other. The Navigation bar displays breadcrumbs that show where you are in the site hierarchy. There are also forward and backward buttons. The following example shows a list named Links. As you can see in Figure 9, we have navigated to DispForm.aspx.


Figure 9


The Ribbon is a new concept introduced in SharePoint 2010. Figure 10 shows how the ribbon looks like in SharePoint Designer 2010. It makes us more efficient and dynamic in SharePoint Designer 2010. The Ribbon shows all of the important features in the current context for us to work on. For example, when we are working with a list, all the items that may be needed can be seen on the ribbon.


Figure 10

Zoom to Contents

A SharePoint page can have a lot going on with content placeholders, Web Part zones, controls, and other page elements. When we're working with a SharePoint page, often we want to emphasis a single element, such as a list web part or a Web Part zone or a Data View. In SharePoint Designer 2010, we have an option to select any of those elements and then right-click, select Zoom to Contents. Once done, the Design view and Code view will show only the control that we selected. So we can eliminate other code and controls while working with a particular component. See Figure 11.


Figure 11

All Files View

The new user interface in SharePoint Designer 2010 focuses on surfacing all of the important components in a SharePoint solution. If you used the Folder List in previous versions of SharePoint Designer, you can still have the experience of working with the files and folders in a site by using the All Files view.