Create a region type

Master pages make it easy to apply a consistent look and feel to a variety of pages in your Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 site. Master pages also define regions on a page where users can add or edit content, while preventing changes to the rest of the page. Master pages make it easier for the owner of a site to set pages up, and then allow others on their team to add content or make changes without worrying that they will make mistakes that cause problems for others.

Master pages contain content placeholders that define where on the page users can make changes. The areas inside content placeholders are called content regions. With Contributor Settings, you can create region types, and then assign a region type to a content region. For example, a region type might specify that users can add only text to a content region. Used in conjunction with master pages, Contributor Settings makes it possible for a site owner to define not only where on the page changes can be made, but also what types of changes are allowed there.

For example, suppose that you own an internal SharePoint site in your organization. You want to use your company's design standards to create a unified look and feel in all the pages in your site, and you want content owners to be able to contribute content to the site without inadvertently breaking the design of the site or the site content.

You deploy Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 and add content regions to the master pages. You also specify the region type for each content region — that is, you specify if users can add only certain types of content, such as only text but not images or hyperlinks. This way, all users have to do is to open the page and add the appropriate information to the content regions.

This article shows you how to create a content region, how to create a region type, and then how to assign the region type to the content region.

Important: To use Contributor Settings, your SharePoint site must be located on a server running either Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 or Office SharePoint Server 2007.

In this article

What are region types?

Create a content region

Create a region type

Override Contributor group settings for a content region

Assign a region type to a content region

What are region types?

With Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can use master pages to define regions on a page where users can make changes. With Contributor Settings, you can create region types that define what types of changes can be made in a content region.

For example, suppose that the Content Authors group must regularly update information on pages in your SharePoint site. You can create specific content regions on pages where the content authors can add content. The remaining regions on the page are not editable, thus preventing users from inadvertently breaking anything.

Furthermore, you can also specify the type of content that the users can add in the content regions — for example, whether the content should be text or text and images. What types of content users can add to a content region is defined by a region type.

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 has three default region types: Text only, Text and Images, and Text, Layout and Images. These allow you to assign precisely defined region types to content regions on the pages of your SharePoint site. For example, you can modify the Text and Images region type to restrict the number of images that a user can add to a content region.

Default region types in the Contributor Settings dialog box

With Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can use the default region types as is, modify them, or create your own region types. Each content region on a page can have a different region type assigned to it, so you have a great deal of flexibility in setting up your master page and content regions.

You also have a good deal of flexibility in deciding which Contributor groups a region type applies to. A region type can apply to all Contributor groups or just the groups that you select. For more information, see the later section Override Contributor group settings for a content region.

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Create a content region

The default.master of a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site contains many default content placeholders, such as PlaceHolderSiteName and PlaceHolderTopNavBar. However, most of these content placeholders are already used for specific purposes by Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, so you don't want to modify or remove them. But you can easily add new content placeholders to a master page that you can use however you want.

For example, suppose that you are a site manager and you have two groups of users who need to add content to new pages in the site. Their Contributor group settings allow them to create new pages only from the default.master. Now you want to set up the default.master with two content regions where those users can add content to the pages that they create, so you perform the following procedure to insert two content placeholders.

Note: Content regions can be added only to master pages.

  1. In Office SharePoint Designer 2007, open the site whose master page you want to modify.

  2. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Task Panes menu, click Folder List.

  3. In the Folder List, click the plus sign (+) next to the _catalogs folder to expand it, click the plus sign (+) next to the masterpage (Master Page Gallery) folder, and then double-click default.master.

  4. If the Master Page toolbar is not visible, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Master Page.

  5. On the Master Page toolbar, in the Regions list, click PlaceHolderMain to select that placeholder.

    PlaceHolderMain is located in the body of default.master. You want to add two new content regions below it.

  6. With PlaceHolderMain selected, press RIGHT ARROW to move the cursor immediately outside the region, and then press ENTER to create a line below PlaceHolderMain.

    Before you insert the content placeholders, you want to create a simple table with two columns so that you can position the placeholders side by side on the page.

  7. On the Table menu, click Insert Table.

  8. In the Insert Table dialog box, under Size, enter 1 in the Rows box, leave 2 in the Columns box, and then click OK.

  9. If the Toolbox task pane is not visible, on the Task Panes menu, click Toolbox.

  10. In the Toolbox, click the plus sign (+) next to the heading ASP.NET Controls to expand that section.

    Content placeholder control in Toolbox

  11. From the Toolbox, drag one ContentPlaceHolder control into each of the two cells in the table that you created.

    By default, new content placeholders that you add to a page are called ContentPlaceHolder1, ContentPlaceHolder2, etc. You want to rename the placeholders so that their name more closely matches their purpose.

  12. To rename the content placeholder, right-click it, and then click Manage Microsoft ASP.NET Content Regions on the shortcut menu.

  13. In the Manage Content Regions dialog box, in the Name column, double-click ContentPlaceHolder1, type a new name in the Region name box, and then click Rename.

    Note: The Rename button becomes available only after you double-click the name of a content placeholder. Region names cannot contain spaces. If you type a space in the Region name box, the Rename button becomes unavailable. When you click Rename, you might see a warning message. Because you have not yet created any content pages from this master page that use the new content placeholders, you can rename them without breaking anything. Click Yes.

    For example, you might want to rename the two new placeholders LeftColumnForText and RightColumnForImage.

  14. After you rename the new content regions, click Close.

    The default.master has two new content regions.

    New content regions on a master page

  15. To save the default.master, on the File menu, click Save. Or you can press CTRL+S.

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Create a region type

A content region defines where on a page users can add content. A region type defines what type of content can be added to a content region. Each content region on a page can have a different region type assigned to it. You can use the default region types or create your own.

For example, you might have two content regions called LeftColumnForText and RightColumnForImage. For the region called LeftColumnForText, you want one Contributor group to add only text, so you can use the default region type called Text only. For the region called RightColumnForImage, you want another Contributor group to add only one image, and that image must already reside in the current site. None of the default region types specify this, but you can easily create a new region type.

  1. In Office SharePoint Designer 2007, open your SharePoint site.

  2. On the Site menu, click Contributor Settings.

  3. In the Contributor Settings dialog box, under Manage Region Types, click Add.

  4. Under General, type a name for the region type in the Region name box. This value is required.

    Note: This name appears in the list of region types in both the Contributor Settings dialog box and the Manage Content Regions dialog box. This name also appears on the label of any content region to which this region type is assigned. Users can see this label and name when they add content, so it is helpful for this name to describe what type of content this region type allows. For example, you might want to create a new region type called Custom Region for Image.

  5. Type a description for the region type in the Region description box. This value is optional.

    Note: It is useful to enter a description that says what the users can or cannot do within the region type. Users can read the description of the region type when they view the region type settings, and the description should be clear enough to tell them what they can or cannot do in that region type.

  6. In the Region Settings dialog box, click each category in the left column, and then choose the settings for this region type.

    Editing category

    In the Editing category, you can allow the Contributor group to edit text and other page elements in the content region. Note that you cannot disallow editing text for either Contributor groups or region types. By default, every user can edit text, and this cannot be changed.

Property

Description

Group Inheritance

For each category, you can choose either to inherit the editing restrictions from the current user's Contributor group, or to override the group settings and create unique editing restrictions for just this region type. For more information, see the next section Override Contributor group settings for a content region.

  • Inherit region settings from Contributor Group     If you choose this option, the region type inherits the editing restrictions from the Editing category of the current user's Contributor group.

    Important: If you select this option, you cannot specify unique region type settings in this category.

  • Override Contributor Group settings for this region     If you choose this option, you can create unique region type settings in this category. These new settings override the editing restrictions from the Editing category in the current user's Contributor group — but only for content regions to which this region type is assigned. You can override the Contributor group settings for a particular group or for all groups. To override the group settings for a specific Contributor group, select the check box next to the group name.

Note: User groups that have unrestricted access to Office SharePoint Designer 2007 are not displayed in the list.

Allow editing text only

Allows users to add and edit only text in the content region.

Note: When you click this option, all subsequent options in the category become unavailable.

Allow editing text and other page elements and properties

Allows users to add and edit text and other page elements such as tables, hyperlinks, buttons, controls, and Web components in the content region. Select the check boxes for the elements and properties that you want users to be able to add and edit.

Note: When you select this option, all subsequent options except Insert, edit, and delete Web Components are selected by default.

Formatting category

In the Formatting category, you can allow the Contributor group to modify style elements in content regions.

Property

Description

Group Inheritance

For each category, you can choose either to inherit the editing restrictions from the current user's Contributor group, or to override the group settings and create unique editing restrictions for just this region type. For more information, see the next section Override Contributor group settings for a content region.

  • Inherit region settings from Contributor Group     If you choose this option, the region type inherits the editing restrictions from the Editing category of the current user's Contributor group.

    Important: If you select this option, you cannot specify unique region type settings in this category.

  • Override Contributor Group settings for this region     If you choose this option, you can create unique region type settings in this category. These new settings override the editing restrictions from the Editing category in the current user's Contributor group — but only for content regions to which this region type is assigned. You can override the Contributor group settings for a particular group or for all groups. To override the group settings for a specific Contributor group, select the check box next to the group name.

Note: User groups that have unrestricted access to Office SharePoint Designer 2007 are not displayed in the list.

Allow applying CSS styles

Allows users to apply CSS styles from style sheets to content in the content region. Click one of the following:

  • Allow styles from any style sheet in the site     This option provides access to all style sheets in the site.

  • Allow styles from only these style sheets     This option provides access to only those style sheets that you have specified in the list. Click Add to add a style sheet to the list.

The remaining options in this category allow users to change font properties, paragraph formatting, bullets and numbering, borders and shading, and page properties (such as tables, hyperlinks, ASP.NET controls, Interactive Buttons, and Web Components) in the content region. Select the appropriate options to allow users to modify these style elements in content regions.

Images category

In the Images category, you can allow the Contributor group to insert images in content regions.

Property

Description

Group Inheritance

For each category, you can choose either to inherit the editing restrictions from the current user's Contributor group, or to override the group settings and create unique editing restrictions for just this region type. For more information, see the next section Override Contributor group settings for a content region.

  • Inherit region settings from Contributor Group     If you choose this option, the region type inherits the editing restrictions from the Editing category of the current user's Contributor group.

    Important: If you select this option, you cannot specify unique region type settings in this category.

  • Override Contributor Group settings for this region     If you choose this option, you can create unique region type settings in this category. These new settings override the editing restrictions from the Editing category in the current user's Contributor group — but only for content regions to which this region type is assigned. You can override the Contributor group settings for a particular group or for all groups. To override the group settings for a specific Contributor group, select the check box next to the group name.

Note: User groups that have unrestricted access to Office SharePoint Designer 2007 are not displayed in the list.

Allow inserting images

Allows users in the Contributor group to insert images in content regions. Click one of the following:

  • Images from any location     This option allows users to insert images from any location inside or outside the current site.

  • Only existing images in the site     This option allows users to insert only images that already reside in the current site.

Limit maximum image file size in kilobytes to

Allows users to insert only images with a file size less than the specified file size. Select this check box and enter a maximum file size for images, in kilobytes.

A smaller image file size may improve the speed at which pages load.

Limit maximum number of images inserted to

Limits the number of images that can be inserted into the content region by the user.

Allow inserting and editing SharePoint Designer Photo Galleries

Allows users to insert the Photo Gallery Web component.

Allow inserting other media files such as videos or Flash files

Allows users to insert video or Flash files.

SharePoint category

In the SharePoint category, you can allow the Contributor group to work with SharePoint content such as Web Parts and Data Views in content regions.

Property

Description

Group Inheritance

For each category, you can choose either to inherit the editing restrictions from the current user's Contributor group, or to override the group settings and create unique editing restrictions for just this region type. For more information, see the next section Override Contributor group settings for a content region.

  • Inherit region settings from Contributor Group     If you choose this option, the region type inherits the editing restrictions from the Editing category of the current user's Contributor group.

    Important: If you select this option, you cannot specify unique region type settings in this category.

  • Override Contributor Group settings for this region     If you choose this option, you can create unique region type settings in this category. These new settings override the editing restrictions from the Editing category in the current user's Contributor group — but only for content regions to which this region type is assigned. You can override the Contributor group settings for a particular group or for all groups. To override the group settings for a specific Contributor group, select the check box next to the group name.

Note: User groups that have unrestricted access to Office SharePoint Designer 2007 are not displayed in the list.

Allow insert, edit, and delete of Web Part Zones

Allows users to work with Web Part zones in content regions.

Allow insert, edit, and delete of Web Parts

Allows users to work with Web Parts in content regions. When you select this option, you can also select the following options:

  • Allow insert, edit, and delete of Web Parts outside of Web Part Zones     This option allows users to work with Web Parts outside of Web Part zones in content regions.

  • Allow insert, edit, and delete of Data Views and Data Forms     This option allows users to work with Data Views in content regions.

  1. When you are done choosing settings for the region type, click OK.

    The new region type appears in the Manage Region Types types list in the Contributor Settings dialog box.

    Custom region types displayed in the Manage Region Types list

    You can create unique region type settings for different Contributor groups. For example, you can create a region type where any user in any Contributor group can insert only one image, and where that image must reside in the current site. First you click General and type a name for the region type — for example, One image only from current site. Then you click Images. Because you want this region type to apply to all users in all Contributor groups, click Override group settings for this region, and then select the All check box.

    Under Images, click Only existing images in the site. Then select the Limit maximum number of images inserted to check box, and then enter 1 in the box. Clear any other check boxes. Your settings should look like those shown in the following illustration.

    Region Settings dialog box with the option to override group settings selected

Note: 

  • To modify the settings for a region type, on the Site menu, click Contributor Settings, click a region type, and then click Modify.

  • You can copy a region type as a shortcut way to create region types with very similar settings. To copy a region type, on the Site menu, click Contributor Settings, click a region type, and then click Copy. You can then modify and rename the copy.

  • To remove a region type, on the Site menu, click Contributor Settings, click a region type, and then click Remove. Note that if you remove a default region type, you can restore it by clicking Advanced (if that section is not already open) and then clicking Reset Contributor Settings Defaults in the Contributor Settings dialog box. You cannot restore a custom region type.

  • For information on using options in the Advanced section of the Contributor Settings dialog box, see the article Use Contributor Settings as a site manager.

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Override Contributor group settings for a content region

By default, when you create a new region type, the editing restrictions in all four categories — Editing, Formatting, Images, and SharePoint — are inherited from a user's Contributor group settings. This means that by default, in any content region with that region type assigned to it, users can do anything that their Contributor group settings allow. All the options for setting editing restrictions in the Region Settings dialog box become available only after you choose to override the Contributor group settings.

Why might you want to override the Contributor group settings? Because region types give you a finer level of granularity and control over the changes that users can make. The editing restrictions for a Contributor group determine the types of changes that users can make across an entire site. But with a region type, you can determine the types of changes that users can make in a specific content region. You create new region types to have unique region type settings. By default, a region type inherits Contributor group settings, so you should choose to override the Contributor group settings in at least one category to have more control over what users can perform in content regions.

For example, you might have created custom Contributor groups whose group settings allow them to insert any number of images from any location, but you might have a content region where you want to restrict any user from doing anything other than adding one image from the current site. You can do this by creating a region type that overrides the Contributor group settings for all other groups, including your custom groups, as shown in the following illustration.

Region Settings dialog box with the option selected to override Contributor settings for all groups

With a region type, you can also choose to override just specific groups, as shown in the following illustration. This means that region types give you tremendous flexibility in setting up your master page. You can choose exactly which Contributor groups can make what types of changes in which content regions on the page.

Region Settings dialog box with the options selected to override Contributor settings for specified groups

Each category of editing restrictions in a region type can inherit or override the Contributor group settings independently of all other categories. For example, editing restrictions in the Formatting category might override the settings for all groups, editing restrictions in the Images category might override the settings for only one group, and editing restrictions in the SharePoint category might inherit from the group settings.

To create a region type that overrides the settings for one or more Contributor groups, do the following:

  1. On the Site menu, click Contributor Settings.

  2. In the Contributor Settings dialog box, under Manage Region Types, click Add.

  3. In the General category, type a name in the Region name box. This value is required.

  4. Click a category where you want to override the Contributor group settings — for example, click Editing or Images.

  5. Under Group Inheritance, click Override Contributor Group settings for this region, and then do one of the following:

    • To override the Contributor group settings for all groups, select the All check box.

    • To override the Contributor group settings for only selected groups, select the check box for just those groups, and make sure to clear the All check box.

  6. In that category, choose unique region type settings, as described in the previous section Create a region type.

  7. For each category where you want to override group settings, repeat steps 4–7.

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Assign a region type to a content region

You have added content placeholders to your master page to create content regions, and you have created region types. Now you are ready to assign a region type to a content region.

  1. In Office SharePoint Designer 2007, open the site with the master page that you want to modify.

  2. If the Folder List is not visible, on the Task Panes menu, click Folder List.

  3. In the Folder List, click the plus sign (+) next to the _catalogs folder to expand it, click the plus sign (+) next to the Master Page Gallery, and then double-click the master page.

  4. Right-click the content placeholder to which you want to assign a region type, and then click Manage Microsoft ASP.NET Content Regions on the shortcut menu.

  5. In the Manage Content Regions dialog box, find the content region that you want in the list, and then click the entry for that content region in the Region type column.

  6. In the Region type list, click the region type that you want to assign to this content region. Every region type available in a site appears in this list.

    Note: You can assign the same region type to many content regions, but each content region can have only one region type.

    List of available region types in the Manage Content Regions dialog box

    After you assign a region type to a content region, you can quickly edit the region type by clicking the content region name in the list and then clicking Edit Region Type. Note that this button is available only for content regions with a region type assigned to them.

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