Design Manager in Sharepoint 2013/Office365

The earlier blog post was specific to creating master pages and page layouts using Design Manager. You can find it here. This post is an overview of the Design Manager.

Design Manager
Design Manager is available when we activate publishing features that are available in publishing sites in both SharePoint Server 2013 and Office 365.

img 1.1

img 1.2
In case we want the SharePoint 2013 site to represent our organization’s brand and not “look like SharePoint,” we can create a custom design and use Design Manager to achieve that goal. Design Manager is a feature in SharePoint 2013 that makes it easier to create a fully customized design by using the web-design tools like editors of our own choice that we are already familiar with using only HTML and CSS, and then upload that design into SharePoint. Design Manager is the central hub and interface where you manage all aspects of a custom design.
img 3.1

  • Welcome
    In case we want the SharePoint 2013 site to represent our organization’s brand and not “look like SharePoint,” we can create a custom design and use Design Manager to achieve that goal. Design Manager is a feature in SharePoint 2013 that makes it easier to create a fully customized design by using the web-design tools like editors of our own choice that we are already familiar with using only HTML and CSS, and then upload that design into SharePoint. Design Manager is the central hub and interface where you manage all aspects of a custom design.
  • Manage Device Channels
    Using channels gives you the ability to display alternate content with unique styles based on the device used to browse to your site.
    Here we can create multiple device channels, where each channel has its own master page. We can have different design for a certain class of smart phones or tablets. Device Channels helps us here, with device channels, you can render a single publishing site in multiple ways by mapping different designs to different devices. Each channel can have its own master page that links to a style sheet that is optimized for a specific device. Each channel specifies the user agent substrings for one or more devices, such as “Windows Phone OS”. These are rules that determine what devices are included in each channel. Visitors see your site in a design optimized for their specific device.
    Device channels are created and stored in a SharePoint list in which order matters, because device channels also have rankings. Device channels in the list are ordered from top to bottom, and the inclusion rules are processed in that order. This means that we want device channels with the most specific rules at the top. Below is a link where we can look for User Agent Strings.
    http://www.useragentstring.com/pages/useragentstring.php
    For testing, we can use the query string “?DeviceChannel=alias” within a browser to preview our site for a specific channel.device channels
  • Upload Design Files
    The easiest way to upload and continue to work on design files is to map a drive on our computer to the Master Page Gallery of our SharePoint site. This connects a folder on our computer to the Master Page Gallery, so that we can work on files that reside on the server in SharePoint 2013 as if they were local files.
    Mapping the following location as a network drive allows us to work easily with our design files. After we map a network drive, we can upload our design to SharePoint simply by copying the design files to a folder on the mapped drive of our computer that is connected to SharePoint. After we convert our HTML file to a SharePoint master page, and after we create page layouts and display templates that each have their own associated HTML file, we can continue to edit those associated HTML files in our HTML editor on our computer. SharePoint automatically synchronizes the files on our computer with the Master Page Gallery.We can use this drive to, Upload the HTML version of our Master Page, Upload CSS and js files and any other design assets and Access design files for editing.upload design files
  • Edit Master Pages
    We can use the network drive we mapped earlier to edit our master pages using any HTML editor. To preview our master page, we need to click on its file name or status. While previewing our HTML master page, we can use the Snippet Gallery to get code snippets for SharePoint functionality that we can copy and paste into our HTML file.
    Creating a fully branded master page that contains all of the SharePoint functionality that you want consists of converting an HTML file into a SharePoint master page, previewing the master page and fix any issues and adding SharePoint snippets to the master page.
    Convert an HTML file
    The core feature of Design Manager is that it converts our HTML design into a SharePoint master page. When we convert an HTML file to a master page, Design Manager creates a .master file that contains all of the required elements. During conversion, some HTML markup (such as comments) also gets added to our original HTML file.After the conversion, our HTML file and the SharePoint master page are associated, so that when we edit and save the HTML file in our mapped drive, the master page is updated automatically. In Design Manager, the HTML master page has a property named Associated File that determines whether changes to the HTML file are synced to the .master file.
    Minimal master page
    Design Manager also provides an option to begin our design by using a minimal master page. In this scenario, you don’t have to begin with an HTML design; instead, you can create an HTML master page that contains the minimum page elements necessary to render the master page correctly in SharePoint, and then build out our design by editing the HTML master page.edit master page
  • Edit Display Template
    Search results and other search-related web parts rely on display templates to control the appearance and behavior of search results. The best way to create a new display template is to copy an existing one that’s similar to what we want and then change yours using any HTML editor. We can use the Content Search Web Part and other search-driven Web Parts to display the results of search queries as content on our pages.
    With master pages and page layouts, you edit an associated HTML file but not the .master file or .aspx file. Similarly, display templates are made of an HTML file and an associated .js file, where you edit only the HTML file. Each time you save that HTML file, SharePoint automatically updates the associated .js file.
    When you want to create a custom display template, you should begin by copying and then modifying one of the existing display templates. This is helpful because the default display templates contain information in comments in the HTML files, and you’ll have the proper basic page structure and a framework in place for basic tasks like mapping input fields.
  • Edit Page Layout
    Page layouts define the look and feel of a set of pages by styling page fields and web part zones within the common elements of a master page. We can use the network drive we mapped earlier to edit our page layouts using any HTML editor. To preview our page layout, click on its file name or status. While previewing our HTML page layout, use the Snippet Gallery to get code snippets for SharePoint functionality that we can copy and paste into our HTML file.
    The process for creating a page layout is a bit different from that for creating a master page. For a master page, you start with an HTML design, convert that into a SharePoint master page, and then continue to edit the associated HTML file. But for a page layout, we first create the page layout in Design Manager, which creates an “.aspx” file and an HTML file, and then we edit the associated HTML file from the mapped drive in your HTML editor. The reason we have to use Design Manager to create a page layout is so that the correct set of page fields can get added to the page layout.
    When you create a page layout, we select a master page with which to preview your page layout, and we select a Page Layout Content Type. A content type is a schema of fields and data types, and the fields available in the page layout content type determine what page field controls are available on the page layout that we design. We create a page layout in the browser first so that the page fields can be added.
    After we create a page layout with its associated HTML file, the remaining steps are the same as for a master page.edit page layout
  • Publish and Apply Design
    Once the visual design of your site is complete, we need to make sure we have published our files master pages and page layputs and site assets like css and js files. It provides link to gallery location to which we’ve saved design assets like images, CSS, and JavaScript files to publish them and set master page to different device channels.
  • Create Design Package
    Once the visual design of your site is complete, we need to make sure we have published our files master pages and page layputs and site assets like css and js files. It provides link to gallery location to which we’ve saved design assets like images, CSS, and JavaScript files to publish them and set master page to different device channels.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s