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Plan Web page authoring

Updated: February 26, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-02-26

In this article:

Web page authoring is the process by which writers add content to a publishing site such as a corporate Internet site or intranet portal site. Web page authoring is available in a site when the Office SharePoint Server publishing features are activated in the site. For information about which site templates include the publishing features, see Determine sites and subsites.

NoteNote:

Before reading this topic, review Plan Web pages, which describes layout pages, field controls, and other elements of Web pages mentioned in this topic.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 supports two methods of Web page authoring:

  • Browser-based authoring   Content creators work directly in the Web browser by using Office SharePoint Server 2007 browser-based features such as the Page Editing toolbar and the HTML Editor toolbar.

  • Smart-client authoring   Content creators work in an authoring application and use the Office SharePoint Server 2007 document conversions feature to convert from the document's native format to Web page (that is, HTML) format.

Determining whether to use browser-based authoring or smart-client authoring and conversions depends on how your team produces content, along with other factors. The following table describes some of the pros and cons of each method.

Authoring method Pros Cons

Browser-based authoring

  • Convenient. Allows editing a Web site in place.

  • Incorporates Office SharePoint Server 2007 document management features such as versioning, approval, workflows, and check-in and check-out.

  • Simpler. Does not require the steps of approving content in client applications, then converting the content, then approving the content again as Web pages.

  • Can't take advantage of templates available in client authoring applications.

  • Authors may be more comfortable working in familiar client authoring applications.

Smart-client authoring.

  • Facilitates publishing an existing body of content.

  • Useful when the team that authors content is separate from the team that designs and publishes the Web site.

  • Authors don't need to learn a new user interface.

  • May be a more appropriate tool for writing lengthy, complex documents.

  • After a document is converted, all browser-based document management features become available on the converted Web page.

  • Converted content must be reviewed and possibly edited in the Pages library, adding a separate step.

  • Converters for a client application may need to be developed and tested.

  • Converter programs used by the document conversion feature require server administration and load balancing.

  • No support for reusable content.

Before reading about the planning options for browser-based and smart-client authoring, you should review the elements of Web pages in Office SharePoint Server 2007 by reviewing Plan Web pages.

Plan browser-based authoring

Planning browser-based authoring includes planning which resources and commands to make available to authors, and planning the editing experience in the field controls in which authors create content.

NoteNote:

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

Plan Page Editing toolbar customizations

The Page Editing toolbar contains UI elements that provide access to page editing commands and related tools, along with workflow commands. This toolbar is available to team members who have at least the Contribute permission level.

The Page Editing toolbar contains two areas that you can customize:

  • Page editing menu commands   The set of commands for writing, reviewing, and approving Web pages.

  • Quick access buttons   Make frequently used commands available, based on the page's context. For example, the Check In to Share Draft button is only available when a page is checked out.

Page editing toolbar

You can plan and implement page editing menu commands and quick access buttons to provide functionality to your content team. For example, if your organization has an art order process that you want to automate, you could add an Art Order command to the Tools menu on the Page Editing toolbar or implement an Art Order quick access button. Note that you can implement a command as both a menu command and a button.

For more information about implementing commands and buttons in the Page Editing toolbar, see the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit.

Plan HTML Editor toolbar customizations

The HTML Editor toolbar provides the commands used by authors to edit Web page content in a field control:

HTML editing toolbar

You can customize the HTML Editor toolbar to provide additional editing features to authors or to restrict them from using some features.

  • Add buttons to provide new functionality You can add new editing features to Office SharePoint Server 2007 and provide buttons on the HTML Editor toolbar to give authors access to the features. For example, if your publishing portal 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 of page elements by adding references to style sheets in layout pages. When you do this, authors will be able to pick the styles available for the current page element by using the Styles menu on the HTML Editor toolbar.

  • Add table formats The HTML Editor comes with a set of predefined table formats that can be customized to fit the styling of an individual page. Each table format 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.

  • Add custom image pickers In any field that includes an Insert Image command, you can replace the default image picker with a custom one. For example, if you have a very large, searchable repository of images, you can create an interface that lets authors search that repository when they edit Web pages.

  • Restrict access to editing features As described in Plan Web pages, 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 Office SharePoint Designer 2007 or Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 you can edit the tags that are associated with field controls to restrict the types of Office SharePoint Server 2007 authoring features writers can use when editing pages. For example, you can prevent authors from:

    • Setting fonts

    • Linking to external addresses

    • Adding headings to content

    • Making text bold, italic, underlined, or italicized

    • Adding tables

For more information about customizing the HTML Editor toolbar, see the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Software Development Kit.

Plan reusable content

The top-level site in a publishing portal or Internet presence portal includes a Reusable Content list that is available in every site in the site collection in which the Office SharePoint Server publishing feature is enabled. Reusable content items can be implemented as HTML or text. By using the Open a new window to insert reusable content button on the HTML Editor toolbar, authors can browse the available reusable content and then insert it.

When you create a reusable content item in the Reusable Content list, you can specify whether or not it can be automatically updated.

  • If you specify that an item is automatically updated authors will not be able to change it after they insert it on a page. For example, you can implement a copyright statement or an enterprise's name, address, and other contact information as automatically updatable items. Doing this helps to prevent authors from incorrectly using those items.

    When an author inserts an automatically updated item on a page, the URL of the item is inserted instead of the item's contents. 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 a page is opened in a Web browser.

  • If you do not specify that an item is automatically updated authors will be able to change it after they insert it on a page. This is useful if you want to define the proper 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 form, 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 Office SharePoint Server 2007 Page Editing toolbar includes a Spelling command that checks the spelling of content in all fields on a page that contain 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 Internet or intranet portal 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.

NoteNote:

To create a custom dictionary to supplement the dictionaries included in Office SharePoint Server 2007, create a document library named "Spelling" in the top-level site of your portal's site collection. In that library, upload a text file named "Custom Dictionary.txt". Add each properly spelled word to the Custom Dictionary.txt file on a separate line of plain text in the file. Only one Custom Dictionary.txt file is supported for a site collection. Words of any language supported by your site can be added to the Custom Dictionary.txt file.

Plan additional resources

When you create a publishing site, Office SharePoint Server 2007 creates the libraries listed in the following table that you can use 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 layout pages

Site collection

Documents

Documents used in page authoring

Current site

Site Collection Documents

Documents used in page authoring

Site collection

Images

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

Note that the default image picker used in Office SharePoint Server 2007 allows users to browse the contents of the Site Collection Images library and the current site's Images library.

Plan smart-client authoring

Smart-client authoring is the method whereby content creators work in an authoring application and use the Office SharePoint Server 2007 document conversions feature to convert from the document's native format to Web page (that is, HTML) format. Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes converters that create Web pages from Office Word 2007 documents and from Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 forms. Office SharePoint Server 2007 also includes a generic Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) converter that enables users to apply an XSL transformation to an XML document. You can develop and install converters for other document formats. (For more information about document conversions, see "Planning document conversions," in Plan document libraries.)

NoteNote:

In smart-client authoring, the document library containing the source documents and the library containing the converted Web pages must be in the same site collection.

You implement smart-client authoring in the following steps:

  1. Plan the content type Associate a document template and matching document converter with a content type that is based on the Document content type.

  2. Configure the document converter A document converter's configuration must specify:

    • The Pages library in which to store the converted content. Because there is a single Pages library in each site in your publishing site hierarchy, this also identifies where in your site hierarchy the content will go.

    • The layout page in which the converted content will be displayed. Every Web page must point to a single layout page that defines how the page will be displayed. Pick an appropriate layout page from the Master Page Gallery, which is in the top-level site in the site collection.

    • The field on the selected layout page in which the contents of the converted page will be displayed. Layout pages can have one or more Page Content field controls to hold the contents of a Web page. You must indicate a single Page Content field control for displaying the contents of the converted document.

    • When the conversions should run. Conversions can run immediately or based on a schedule controlled by the server's administrators. It is recommended that you schedule conversions in a production environment. Contact your server administrators and set this option according to their instructions.

  3. Plan cascading style sheets handling The Office SharePoint Server 2007 converters that transform Office Word 2007 documents into Web pages do the following things:

    • Extract a set of cascading style sheets style definitions based on the Office Word 2007 paragraph definitions in the source document and, by default, store them in a specified field of the converted Web page.

    • Insert class references in the converted Web page to apply the extracted cascading style sheets style definitions.

    • Convert inline styles in Office Word 2007 documents, such as font formatting, into inline cascading style sheets styles in converted Web pages

    To more tightly control the appearance of Web pages on your site, you can configure the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Word-to-HTML converters to remove the extracted set of cascading style sheets style definitions and not store them with converted Web pages. When you do this, the converter will still insert class references in converted Web pages. To resolve those class references, you can define a set cascading style sheets style definitions and associate them with layout pages or master pages in which the converted Web pages will be displayed. (A set of those styles based on the default Office Word 2007 paragraph styles is defined in the file Rca.css and is associated by default with the layout pages included in Office SharePoint Server 2007.)

NoteNote:

The Office SharePoint Server 2007 Word-to-HTML converters cannot be configured to remove inline cascading style sheets styles generated for inline formatting in the source document. To prevent inline styles from overriding your cascading style sheets style definitions, prohibit authors from using inline formatting in their source documents.

NoteNote:

The Office SharePoint Server 2007 Word-to-HTML converters cannot convert inline images into images in the output Web pages, and inline images in source documents will be missing from the converted Web pages. To avoid this, authors should store their images in a picture library in the site collection and insert images into their source documents as hyperlinks to the stored images.

Worksheet

Use the following worksheet record your Web page authoring decisions for a type of content:

In the worksheet:

  1. Record the site URL. This is the site containing the Pages library in which Web pages will be stored.

  2. Provide a content description. For example, "product descriptions" or "feature articles."

  3. Indicate the authoring team responsible for creating the content.

  4. Describe new resources or commands to add. For example, "Add Art Order button to Page Editing toolbar."

  5. Indicate if smart-client authoring will be used to author pages in this site.

  6. If smart-client authoring will be used, record the source Document library URL, the source document content type, and the document template to use.

  7. If smart-client authoring will be used, record the layout page that will contain the converted content and the content field that will display the converted content.

  8. If smart-client authoring will be used, indicate whether or not cascading style sheets style definitions should be retained for use with the converted content. If cascading style sheets style definitions will be retained, indicate the field in which to store the extracted cascading style sheets style definitions. If cascading style sheets style definitions will not be retained, indicate where the cascading style sheets styles for the converted page will be defined.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also

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