Create a Contributor group

You are a site manager, and you want your team to be able to use Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 to contribute content to the site without disrupting the site's design, layout, or other content. With Contributor Settings, you can link the permission levels in a site to new or existing Contributor groups in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. By linking a permission level to a Contributor group, you can then assign specific editing restrictions to all users in that Contributor group.

For example, by default the Contribute permission level is linked to the Content Authors group. With Contributor Settings, you can set editing restrictions so that when users in the Content Authors group open your site in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, they can only:

  • Edit text.

  • Edit pages in specific folders in a site.

  • Create new pages from the master page that you specify, or not create new pages at all.

  • Apply styles from the style sheet that you specify, or not apply styles at all.

This article shows you how to create a permission level, how to create a Contributor group, and then how to link the permission level to the Contributor group. This article also shows you how to set a Contributor group as the default group so that any users whose permission level is not linked to a Contributor group still get a set of default editing restrictions when they open the site in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

To learn more about Contributor Settings, see the article Introduction to Contributor Settings.

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

In this article

What are permission levels and Contributor groups?

Create a permission level

Create a Contributor group

Link a permission level to a Contributor group

Set a Contributor group as the default group

What are permission levels and Contributor groups?

A permission level is a set of permissions that can be granted to users or SharePoint groups on an object such as a site, library, list, folder, item, or document. Permission levels are created in the browser. A permission level enables you to assign a particular set of permissions to users and SharePoint groups so that they can perform specific actions on your site. By creating new permission levels (or editing existing permission levels) with the permissions required to perform common tasks, you can associate an appropriate permission level with the users or SharePoint groups for the securable object (such as a site or list or library) on which you want to allow them to perform those actions.

A Contributor group is a group of users in Office SharePoint Designer 2007 who are assigned to perform a particular role in an organization. For example, Office SharePoint Designer 2007 has three default Contributor groups: Site Manager, Web Designer, and Content Author. With Contributor Settings, you can assign each Contributor group specific editing restrictions that define what changes they can make to a site by using Office SharePoint Designer 2007. For example, one Contributor group might not be able to create new pages, a second Contributor group might be able to create new pages only from a specified master page, and a third Contributor group might be able to create new pages from any master page. Contributor groups are created in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

Each Contributor group must be linked to at least one permission level. The following table illustrates the default setup.

This permission level …

Is linked to this Contributor group …

Full Control

Site Manager

Design

Web Designers

Contribute

Content Authors

Contributor groups and permission levels together provide you with fine-grained control for defining what changes a group can make to a site.

The basic process is this: In the browser, you add users and groups to your site. When you do so, you must assign them a permission level. You can either use the existing permission levels or create your own. Then you link one or more permission levels to a Contributor group in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

For example, you browse to the Site Settings page of your site, add a new SharePoint group called My Web Designers, and assign them the Design permission level. Then, in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can link the Design permission level to the Web Designers Contributor group. This means that all the users whom you added to the My Web Designers group in the browser now belong to the Web Designers Contributor group in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. By default, the Web Designers Contributor group has all the permissions of the Design permission level — for example, the Apply Style Sheets or Open folders permissions. But with Contributor Settings, you can exercise more granular control — for example, by allowing only specified style sheets to be applied or by allowing only pages in certain folders to be edited.

You can also unlink permission levels from Contributor groups. After a permission level is unlinked from a Contributor group, it can be linked to any other Contributor group. For example, if you unlink the Contribute permission level from the Content Authors group, you can link the Contribute permission level to any other Contributor group of your choice.

Permission levels and Contributor groups have a one-to-many relationship: You cannot link a permission level to more than one Contributor group, but you can link multiple permission levels to a Contributor group. For example, after you link the Design permission level to the Web Designers Contributor group, it cannot be linked to any other Contributor group.

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Create a permission level

Permission levels are created in the browser and are used in both Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 sites and Office SharePoint Server 2007 sites. You cannot create a permission level in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Also, you must create the permission level first in order for it to appear in the list of available permission levels in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

Permission levels are managed at the site level. You can perform the following procedure on the top-level Web site of a site collection or on any subsite that is using unique permissions. You cannot manage permissions on a subsite that is inheriting permissions from its parent. Instead, either you must manage permissions of the parent, or you must first stop inheriting permissions from the parent site and then create unique permissions on the subsite.

Managing permissions of a parent site affects not only the parent site, but all subsites inheriting from that parent site. Before you manage permissions of a parent site, carefully consider how your changes will affect other sites.

Find links to more information about permission levels in the See Also section.

  1. Open the SharePoint site in the browser.

  2. On the Site Actions menu, click Site Settings.

  3. On the Site Settings page, under Users and Permissions, click Advanced permissions.

  4. On the Settings menu, click Permission Levels.

    Permission Levels command on the Settings menu

    Note: If the Settings menu is not available, it means that your site inherits permissions from its parent site. You cannot manage permissions on a subsite that is inheriting permissions from its parent. Instead, you must either manage the permissions of the parent, or first stop inheriting permissions from the parent site and then create unique permissions on the subsite. To stop inheriting permissions from the parent site, on the Actions menu, click Edit Permissions. You will receive an alert that you are about to create unique permissions for the site, and that changes to the parent site will not affect your site. Click OK to continue. The Settings menu is now available, where you can click Permission Levels.

    Confirmation for creating unique permissions for a site

  5. On the Permission levels page, on the menu bar, click Add a Permission Level.

    Note: If you do not see the Add a Permission Level button, it means that your site inherits permissions from its parent site. You cannot manage permissions on a subsite that is inheriting permissions from its parent. Instead, you must either manage the permissions of the parent, or first stop inheriting permissions from the parent site and then create unique permissions on the subsite. To stop inheriting permissions from the parent site, click Edit Permission Levels. You will receive an alert that you are about to create custom permissions, and that changes to the parent site will not affect your site. Click OK to continue. The Add a Permission Level button is now available. Click it.

  6. On the Add a Permission Level page, type a name and description for the new permission level.

    The name that you type here is the name of the permission level that will appear in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

  7. Select the permissions that you want this permission level to have.

    Note: Many permissions are dependent on other permissions. When you select a permission that is dependent on another, the permission on which it is dependent is also automatically selected. Likewise, clearing a permission on which other permissions are dependent also clears the dependent permissions.

    List of permissions available to a permission level

  8. Click Create.

    The new permission level now appears in the Permission Levels list and is available for you to link to a Contributor group in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

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Create a Contributor group

Contributor groups are created in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. A Contributor group is a group of users who are assigned to perform a particular role in an organization. For example, Office SharePoint Designer 2007 has three default Contributor groups: Site Manager, Web Designer, and Content Author. With Contributor Settings, you can assign each Contributor group specific editing restrictions that define what changes they can make to a site by using Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

You do not add users or groups to a Contributor group itself. All users and groups are added to a SharePoint site in the browser. When you add a user or a group, you must assign them a permission level. The permission level is then linked to a Contributor group. So on one side, a permission level is assigned to users and groups when you add them in the browser. On the other side, a permission level is linked to a Contributor group. Therefore, a Contributor group is composed of all users and groups who have been assigned to the permission level or levels that are linked to the Contributor group.

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

  2. On the Site menu, click Contributor Settings.

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

  4. In the Contributor Group Properties dialog box, under General, type a name in the Group name box. This value is required.

  5. Under SharePoint site permission levels, click each permission level that you want to link to the Contributor group, and then click Link.

    All users who are assigned to those permissions levels are now, by extension, members of this Contributor group.

  6. In the Contributor Group Properties dialog box, click each category in the left column, and then choose the settings for this Contributor group.

    General category

    In the General category, you can specify the name and description of the group. This is also where you allow unrestricted use of Office SharePoint Designer 2007, allow or restrict the use of Code View, and link the Contributor group to SharePoint permission levels.

Property

Description

Group Name and Group Description

In the Group Name and Group Description boxes, type a new group name and description.

Allow unrestricted use of SharePoint Designer

Allows full access to Office SharePoint Designer 2007. By default, the Site Manager and Web Designer Contributor groups have this setting selected.

When you select this check box, all other options in the Contributor Group Properties dialog box become unavailable because you cannot set editing restrictions for a group that has been allowed unrestricted use.

Allow use of Code View

Allows the group to view the code in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Code view allows users to edit the code directly. Restricting the use of Code view can help to protect your content from unwanted changes.

Important: We recommend that you restrict the use of Code view if you do not want users to inadvertently break the site. Note that when you set editing restrictions for a Contributor group and allow access to Code view, users can bypass their Contributor group editing restrictions and make changes that you may not want them to make by working in Code view.

SharePoint site permission levels

You can link the available SharePoint permission levels to the current Contributor group or unlink them. To link a permission level to a Contributor group, click a permission level under Available site permission levels, and then click Link. The permission level is added to the list of permission levels that are linked to this Contributor group.

To unlink a permission level from a Contributor group, click a SharePoint permission level under Site roles linked to this group, and then click Unlink. If you need to create new permission levels, see the previous section Create a permission level.

Folders category

In the Folders category, you can specify the location of folders where the Contributor group can edit pages, and the location of folders where images and other files must be saved.

Property

Description

Folder Access

Click one of the following options:

  • Allow editing pages in all folders in the site     This option allows users in the Contributor group to edit content in all the folders in the SharePoint site.

  • Allow editing pages in only these folders (and all subfolders contained within)     This option restricts members of the Contributor group to editing content only in the list of folders (and their subfolders) that you specify. Click Add to browse to and select the folders.

Allow editing pages in the root of the site

Allows users to edit pages in the top level of the site directory (http://server_name/site_name).

Saving files

Allows you to specify the location where users in the Contributor group can save images and other files. Click one of the following:

  • Require saving images to this folder     This option specifies the location where images must be saved.

  • Require saving other files to this folder     This option specifies the location where other files must be saved. Click Browse to locate the folder where you want images or other files to be saved, or type the path and folder name in the box.

    If you do not specify folders, the Contributor group can save images and other files to any folder in the site.

Creating Pages category

In the Creating Pages category, you can specify various options for the Contributor group to create new pages and to work with master pages and Dynamic Web Templates.

Property

Description

Allow creating new blank pages

Allows users in the Contributor group to create new blank pages.

This option is selected by default when you create a new Contributor group.

Allow creating other types of pages from the New dialog box (File menu)

Allows users in the Contributor group to create other types of new pages from the New dialog box (File menu).

If you select this check box, you must then click Set page types. This opens the Page Types dialog box, where you can specify the types of pages that a user can create in the New dialog box (click New on the File menu). You can select any of the available page types that you want the users to be able to create.

The Web Part pages option is selected by default in the Pages Type dialog box.

Allow deleting and renaming pages and folders created by the user

Allows users in the Contributor group to delete and rename pages and folders that they create.

This option is selected by default when you create a new Contributor group.

Allow deleting and renaming pages and folders created by others

Allows users in the Contributor group to delete or rename pages and folders that someone else creates.

This option is selected by default in the Web Designer and Site Manager groups.

Allow creating new pages from these Dynamic Web Templates

Allows users in the Contributor group to create new pages from Dynamic Web Templates specified in the list. Click Add to browse to and add Dynamic Web Templates to the list.

Note: If the list is empty, members of the Contributor group can create new pages from any available Dynamic Web Template.

Allow detaching Dynamic Web Templates from content pages

Allows users in the Contributor group to detach Dynamic Web Templates from content pages to which they are attached.

Allow editing, renaming, and deleting Dynamic Web Templates

Allows users in the Contributor group to edit, rename, and delete existing Dynamic Web Templates.

Allow creating new pages from these Master Pages

Allows users in the Contributor group to create new pages from master pages specified in the list. Click Add to browse to and add master pages to the list.

Note: If the list is empty, members of the Contributor group can create new pages from any available master page.

Allow detaching Master Pages from content pages

Allows users in the Contributor group to detach master pages from content pages to which they are attached.

Allow editing, renaming, and deleting Master Pages

Allows users in the Contributor group to edit, rename, and delete existing master pages.

Editing category

In the Editing category, you can allow the Contributor group to edit text and other page elements.

If you have allowed access to Code view, users can bypass the editing restrictions that you set in the Editing category by making changes to the page code, which you might not want to allow. To restrict access to Code view, click the General category, and then clear the Allow use of Code View check box.

Property

Description

Allow editing text only

Allows the Contributor group to add and edit only text.

When you select this option, all subsequent options in the category become unavailable.

Allow editing text and other page elements and properties

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

Formatting category

In the Formatting category, you can allow the Contributor group to modify styles and formatting in your SharePoint site.

If you have allowed access to Code view, users can bypass the editing restrictions that you set in the Formatting category by making changes to the page code, which you might not want to allow. To restrict access to Code view, click the General category, and then clear the Allow use of Code View check box.

Property

Description

Allow applying CSS styles

Allows users in the Contributor group to apply styles from cascading style sheets. Click one of the following options:

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

  • Allow styles from only these style sheets     This option allows access to only those style sheets that you specify in the list. Click Add to browse to and 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, interactive buttons, and ASP.NET controls. Select the appropriate options to allow users in the Contributor group to modify these style elements on pages in the site.

Images category

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

If you have allowed access to Code view, users can bypass the editing restrictions that you set in the Images category by making changes to the page code, which you might not want to allow. To restrict access to Code view, click the General category, and then clear the Allow use of Code View check box.

Property

Description

Allow inserting images

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

  • Images from any location     This option allows users to insert images from any location (Internet, server, other sites, etc).

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

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

Allow inserting and editing SharePoint Designer Photo Galleries

Allows users in the Contributor group to use SharePoint Designer Photo Galleries.

Allow inserting other media files such as videos or Flash files

Allows users in the Contributor group 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 workflows and Web Parts.

If you have allowed access to Code view, users can bypass the editing restrictions that you set in the SharePoint category by making changes to the page code, which you might not want to allow. To restrict access to Code view, click the General category, and then clear the Allow use of Code View check box.

Property

Description

Allow modifying the site home page (default.aspx)

Allows users in the Contributor group to make changes to the home page.

Allow overwriting existing pages from the site definition (other than site home page)

Allows users to make changes to existing pages from the site definition. Examples of pages included in the site definition are default.master, list forms such as EditItem.aspx, list view pages such as AllItems.aspx, and templates for documents in document libraries.

Allow creating, editing, and deleting workflows

Allows users in the Contributor group to create, edit, and delete workflows by using the Workflow Designer in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

Allow insert, edit, and delete of Web Part Zones

Allows users in the Contributor group to work with Web Part zones.

Allow insert, edit, and delete of Web Parts

Allows users in the Contributor group to work with Web Parts. 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 the Contributor group to work with Web Parts outside of Web Part zones.

  • Allow insert, edit, and delete of Data Views and Data Forms     This option allows the Contributor group to work with Data Views that are inserted as either views or forms.

  1. When you are done creating settings for the group, click OK.

    For example, you can create a Contributor group whose editing restrictions allow those users to edit text only, and only on pages that reside in a single folder that you specify. To do this, first give the group a name and add users to the group by linking it to one or more of the available permission levels. Next, click the Folders category, and then click Allow editing of pages in only these folders (and all subfolders contained within). Then click Add, browse to and select the folder, and then click Open. Next, in the Editing category, click Allow editing Text only. Make sure to clear all other options in all other categories, and then click OK.

    All users and groups who are assigned the linked permission levels now belong to this Contributor group. When they open the site in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, they can only edit pages in the folder that you specified, and they can add and edit only text on those pages.

Note: 

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

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

  • To remove a Contributor group, on the Site menu, click Contributor Settings, click a Contributor group, and then click Remove. Note that if you remove a default Contributor group, 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 Contributor group.

  • 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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Link a permission level to a Contributor group

You do not add users or groups to a Contributor group itself. Instead, all users and groups for a SharePoint site are added in the browser. When you add a user or a group, you must assign them a permission level. The permission level is then linked to a Contributor group. Therefore, a Contributor group is composed of all users and groups who have been assigned to the permission levels that are linked to the Contributor group.

One Contributor group can be linked to many SharePoint permission levels, but each permission level can be linked to only one Contributor group. If you run out of permission levels, see the earlier section Create a permission level.

You can create a Contributor group and choose not to link it to any permission level. In this case, the Contributor group will not actually be in use because it has no users or groups linked to it. To make a Contributor group unavailable without actually removing it, you can unlink all permission levels from that group.

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

  2. On the Site menu, click Contributor settings.

  3. Under Manage Contributor Groups, click the Contributor group to which you want to link a permission level, and then click Modify.

  4. Under SharePoint site permission levels, click each permission level that you want to link to the Contributor group, and then click Link.

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Set a Contributor group as the default group

You can set a Contributor group as the default group so that any users who have not been assigned to a Contributor group still get a set of default editing restrictions when they open the site in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. By default, the Content Authors group is the default Contributor group in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. However you can change the default to any Contributor group of your choice.

Why is the Content Authors group the default group? Because the Content Author group, by default, has the least amount of access to features in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. So even if a user whose permission level is not linked to a Contributor group opens the site for editing, they get only limited access. This minimizes the chances of anyone inadvertently breaking the site. You can always make any Contributor group the default group. However, before changing the default group, you need to ask yourself if this change will affect your Web site update process. Keep in mind that the Contributor group settings for the default group are the editing restrictions that a user outside any Contributor group receives.

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

  2. On the Site menu, click Contributor settings.

  3. Under Manage Contributor Groups, click the group that you want to set as the default, and then click Set As Default.

    The selected group now displays as Contributor group name (Default).

    Contributor group set to be the default group

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