Work in Contributor mode as a content author

As a content author, you need to add content to pages in your team's site. Because you belong to a Contributor group with editing restrictions, when you open the site in Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you notice that certain commands are available to you, while others are not. Also, as a content author you might have access to only specific folders in the site where you can make changes or save files.

This article shows you how to add content to pages in a site while working as a content author in Contributor mode.

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

How can I tell if I am in Contributor mode?

What features might be unavailable in Contributor mode?

Add content to pages in Contributor mode

How can I tell if I am in Contributor mode?

When you start Office SharePoint Designer 2007 in Contributor mode, there are several visual cues that let you know right away that something is different. First, the Contributor task pane shows your Contributor status. It tells you which Contributor group you are a member of and displays a link to your Contributor settings, along with other useful links.

Note: Before you start working in Office SharePoint Designer 2007 in Contributor mode, we recommend that you view your Contributor settings to find out what features are available or restricted for your Contributor group. See the article View your Contributor settings for more information.

When you start Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you receive a Contributor mode notification on the status bar at the lower-right corner of the window. The notification displays the name of your Contributor group. When you double-click this area of the status bar, the Contributor task pane opens, if it is not already open.

Contributor mode notification on the status bar

Another indicator is that the title bar shows that you are in Contributor mode.

Contributor mode notification on the title bar

The following illustration shows the Contributor task pane as it appears for a user who belongs to a Contributor group with restricted access.

Note: If you do not see the Contributor task pane, click Contributor on the Task Panes menu.

Contributor task pane as it appears to the Content Authors Contributor group

1. This section displays the name of the Contributor group that you belong to.

2. Click this link to display the settings of the Contributor group that you belong to.

3. Click this link to open an e-mail message that is addressed to the site manager.

4. Find here a list of files that you opened in the previous session in Office SharePoint Designer 2007.

5. Click this link to open the New dialog box and create new files.

6. Click this link to open the Open dialog box, where you can browse to and open files.

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What features might be unavailable in Contributor mode?

The features that you can use depend on the editing restrictions that the site manager has assigned to your Contributor group. For example, if your site manager has allowed your group to add only text to pages, you can add and edit only text. If your site manager has not given access to certain features to your Contributor group, those features are unavailable in Office SharePoint Designer 2007. Here are a few scenarios:

  • You belong to a Contributor group that is not allowed to insert hyperlinks. When you go to the Insert menu, you notice that the Hyperlink command is unavailable.

  • You belong to a Contributor group that is not allowed to insert Web Parts. When you open the Web Parts task pane and try to drag a Web Part onto the page, a notification appears on the status bar informing you that your Contributor settings prevent you from inserting Web Parts.

    Status bar notification when Contributor settings don't allow inserting Web Parts

  • If you try to delete a file by pressing DELETE, a notification appears on the status bar informing you that your Contributor settings prevent you from deleting the file.

    Status bar notification when Contributor settings don't allow deleting a file

  • Commands for renaming and deleting files might also be unavailable if your Contributor group is not allowed to perform these actions.

    Rename and Delete options unavailable to a restricted user in Contributor mode

Whether a feature is available or not also varies with the location within the page, so you will experience features appearing as either available or unavailable as you move around the document. The general rule is that if a function is not allowed, then the feature is not available. Keyboard shortcuts associated with unavailable features also do not function.

Features are turned on again when the page is modified such that they are allowed. For example, if a content region allows one picture, the Picture command on the Insert menu is available. However, after you insert a picture, the Picture command on the Insert menu becomes unavailable. If you delete the picture, the command again becomes available.

In addition to unavailable features, there are also parts of the page that might be unavailable to you. This is true if you create a new page from a master page. In any area outside a content region, the cursor changes to How cursor appears in an uneditable region , which means that you cannot make changes there. You see the same cursor if you try to drag or paste content into a noneditable region. You are not allowed to paste content into a noneditable region, and when you paste content into a content region, only attributes that are allowed in that region are pasted. For example, when you paste text to a content region defined as text-only, any formatting is discarded from the pasted text.

Note: Before you start working in Office SharePoint Designer 2007 in Contributor mode, we recommend that you view your Contributor settings to find out what features are available or restricted for your Contributor group. For more information, see the article View your Contributor settings.

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Add content to pages in Contributor mode

For a content author, it is likely that the site manager has designated a specific folder where you can edit pages and a specific folder where you can save pages. If this is the case, when you open your site in Office SharePoint Designer 2007, the Folder List shows only those folders to which you have access.

If your Contributor group has been given access to a subfolder — for example, Your Documents in the Shared Documents folder — the Folder List shows all folders in the path to that subfolder, but you can access the contents of only that subfolder.

The site manager might also make available to you a master page and a style sheet. If you see a master page in the Folder List, you can create new pages from it. If you see a style sheet (.css file) in the Folder List, you can add text to your page, select it, and then apply styles by using the Apply Styles task pane.

what a content author might see in contributor mode

1. The Folder List displays only those folders that can be accessed by your Contributor group.

2. The master page named latest_updates.master is one of two master pages from which your Contributor group can create new pages.

3. On the left, the Folder List displays the style sheet from which you can apply styles. On the right, these styles appear in the Apply Styles task pane.

4. In the Images folder is a subfolder named For content authors, from which you can insert images onto the page

5. The folder where you can save pages is called New team pages

6. Content regions indicate where you can add content. The purple region labels display a region type if one is assigned to a content region.

For example, the following procedure steps you through a common scenario as a content author working in Contributor mode. You are responsible for updating the team site weekly with a newsletter-type page called Latest Updates. The site manager has made available to you a master page from which you are to create new pages and a style sheet from which you are to apply styles. On the content pages created from the master page, there are content regions with region types assigned to them. For example, in one content region you can enter only text, but in another content region you can also enter images. However, these images can be inserted only from the Images folder in the current site — no outside images are allowed. Finally, when you save the page, you must save it to the folder allowed by your site manager.

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

  2. In the Folder List, right-click the master page named latest_updates.master, and then click New from Master Page on the shortcut menu.

    A new content page opens in Design view.

  3. Click a content placeholder, click the arrow that appears, and then click Create Custom Content.

  4. On the region label, look for the name of any region type that might be assigned to that content region.

    For example, the label might say (Text only). In this case, enter text in the content region.

  5. If the Apply Styles task pane is not visible, on the Task Panes menu, click Apply Styles.

  6. In the Apply Styles task pane, click Options, and then click Show All Styles.

    If the site manager has made a style sheet available to you, those styles appear in the Apply Styles task pane.

  7. To apply a style to text in a content region on the page, select the text, and then click the style that you want in the Apply Styles task pane.

  8. To insert an image on the page, click a content region, click the arrow that appears, and then click Create Custom Content.

    Check to see if the region label displays the name of a region type — for example, (Images only) — that might indicate whether images are allowed in that content region.

  9. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click From File.

  10. In the Picture dialog box, browse to the folder named For content authors, click an image, and then click Insert.

    In the previous illustration, you can see in the Folder List that this folder is available for you to insert images from. It is possible that either your Contributor group settings or the region type settings for a given content region might prevent you from inserting multiple images, images from other locations, or images with a file size greater than that specified by the site manager.

  11. Save the page in the location that is allowed to your Contributor group.

    In this case, the previous illustration shows that you can save folders in the document library called New team pages. You can check the location where you can save pages in the Folders category of your Contributor settings. See the article View your Contributor settings for more information.

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