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November 2009

Middle ground with SharePoint user interface enhancements

Many SharePoint users, administrators and even developers have seethed with frustration over SharePoint’s user interface. It’s not that it’s a bad interface, but if you don’t like what SharePoint provides out of the box, you don’t have too many good options. Although it’s simple to create a default data entry screen in SharePoint by defining a content type or adding a few columns to a custom list, it’s altogether a different story when you’re trying to change that default data entry screen. SharePoint has two main solutions for creating custom screens: limited configuration options and SharePoint Designer. Through configuration, SharePoint allows the ability to reorder columns, hide some columns, specify whether they are mandatory and give them a label, along with a few other rudimentary controls. SharePoint Designer allows much more power and flexibility. These approaches have their pluses and minuses. What’s apparent is that there is no good middle ground when it comes to changing SharePoint data entry screens. On the one hand...

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