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Windows SharePoint Services Default Master Pages

Windows SharePoint Services 3

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Windows SharePoint Services pages that end users can customize—list view pages, list form pages, and Web Part Pages—are content pages that contain the content to display. When a user requests a content page, it is merged with a master page to produce output that combines the layout of the master page with the content from the content page.

All content pages share the same page structure—the global breadcrumb, site title area, top navigation, page title area, and left navigation bar. In Windows SharePoint Services, this shared page structure is moved into a master page called default.master, which is used by all content pages, including the following:

  • default.aspx

  • AllItems.aspx, DispForm.aspx, NewForm.aspx, and EditForm.aspx: for all lists

  • Upload.aspx and Webfldr.aspx: for all document libraries

  • Any new content pages that are created in this site

At installation, default.master is located at <%System Drive%>Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\GLOBAL. As long as this master page is not customized, its page definition is cached on the front-end Web server and shared across sites. If the master page definition inside of default.master is subsequently edited for a particular Windows SharePoint Services site, an edited copy of the master page file is then stored in the content database.

The standard set of content pages all use the default master page and are initially located in the file system, in the same directory area as the rest of the template pages. For example, in the case of a SharePoint team site, default.aspx is stored at <%SystemDrive%>\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\SiteTemplates\STS, while form pages such editform.aspx are stored in their respective <%SystemDrive%>\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\TEMPLATE\Features folder. After a content page is customized, it is stored in the content database.

In addition to static text and controls that appear on all pages, a master page also includes one or more System.Web.UI.WebControls.ContentPlaceHolder controls, which define regions where replaceable content can appear. In turn, the replaceable content is defined in content pages.

The Windows SharePoint Services default master page contains several ContentPlaceHolder controls to enable easy customization to an individual content page. By default, Windows SharePoint Services content pages use the content placeholders described in the following table. When creating custom master pages, developers must use the same set of content placeholders, or a superset of these placeholders; otherwise, their pages may fail to render.

The following table describes the content placeholders contained in the Windows SharePoint Services default master page and what each of the placeholders represents on the page.

Name of Content Placeholder

Description

PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead

Additional content that needs to be within the <head> tag of the page, for example, references to script in style sheets

PlaceHolderBodyAreaClass

Additional body styles in the page header

PlaceHolderBodyLeftBorder

Border element for the main page body

PlaceHolderBodyRightMargin

Right margin of the main page body

PlaceHolderCalendarNavigator

Shows a date picker for navigating in a calendar when a calendar is visible on the page

PlaceHolderFormDigest

The "form digest" security control

PlaceHolderGlobalNavigation

The global navigation breadcrumb

PlaceHolderHorizontalNav

Top navigation menu for the page

PlaceHolderLeftActions

Bottom of the left navigation area

PlaceHolderLeftNavBar

Left navigation area

PlaceHolderLeftNavBarBorder

Border element on the left navigation bar

PlaceHolderLeftNavBarDataSource

Data source for the left navigation menu

PlaceHolderLeftNavBarTop

Top of the left navigation area 

PlaceHolderMain

Page's main content

PlaceHolderMiniConsole

A place to show page-level commands, for example, WIKI commands such as Edit Page, History, and Incoming Links

PlaceHolderNavSpacer

The width of the left navigation area

PlaceHolderPageDescription

Description of the page contents

PlaceHolderPageImage

Page icon in the upper left area of the page

PlaceHolderPageTitle

The page <Title> that is shown in the browser’s title bar

PlaceHolderSearchArea

Search box area

PlaceHolderSiteName

Site name

PlaceHolderTitleAreaClass

Additional styles in the page header

PlaceHolderTitleAreaSeparator

Shows shadows for the title area

PlaceHolderTitleBreadcrumb

Main content breadcrumb area

PlaceHolderTitleInTitleArea

Page title shown immediately below the breadcrumb

PlaceHolderTitleLeftBorder

Left border of the title area

PlaceHolderTitleRightMargin

Right margin of the title area

PlaceHolderTopNavBar

Top navigation area

PlaceHolderUtilityContent

Extra content that needs to be at the bottom of the page

SPNavigation

Empty by default in Windows SharePoint Services.  Can be used for additional page editing controls.

WSSDesignConsole

The page editing controls when the page is in Edit Page mode (after clicking Site Actions, then Edit Page)

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