SharePoint Look and Feel, Part 2 of 3

Yesterday I posted the first in my three-part series looking at customization options associated with Look and Feel in SharePoint.  As promised, today we'll be taking a look at the Tree View, Site Theme, and Top Link Bar options.

If you're as unfamiliar with the option as I was when I first encountered it at Mindsharp's Power End User summit, it may surprise you to learn that you aren't necessarily tied to SharePoint's default Quick Launch bar as your primary mode of site navigation.  Yes, if you really, really love the standard Windows tree view of files and folders, this customization option grants you the ability to replace the Quick Launch bar as the left-hand navigation with a Tree View display of your site contents.  This is accomplished via a simple checkbox, switching the selection from the default (Quick Launch) to enable the optional Tree View:

There are a couple of additional notes worth mentioning about Tree View.  The first is that you can choose to enable both Quick Launch and Tree View if you wish, and the second is that enabling Tree View will surface everything on your site.  To give you some idea of what your left-hand navigation will look like with Tree View enabled, here's what making that change did on my My Site:

Since Site Theme is actually the one Look and Feel area that I tripped across on my own in my early days of stumbling blindly through the SharePoint wilderness, I'm going to take the easy out here and refer back to my original "Pimp my My Site" post on Site Themes.  With one update:  Yes, I did get pretty sick of that white-on-black display I was so excited about at the time I wrote that original post on the subject, and now I'm using the more pleasing to the eye (and more thematic with regards to Bamboo) theme you're seeing in my screen shots today.

The Top Link Bar options are ... well, they're actually singular rather than plural, in that you're presented with a single New Link button which will allow you to add a New Link to your already existing Top Link Bar:

Clicking the New Link button will simply display a page with two input fields: one to add the destination URL of your new Link, and another for the description of the New Link.  As you can see, I've chosen to add a link to Bamboo Nation (though in most cases, I expect newly created Top Links will generally link to another area in your site collection):

I was going to show an image of the new Top Link on my My Site, but instead we shall end with a genuine mystery, because though my new Top Link now appears on my list of Top Links (and is editable from there) in the Top Links area, there is no sign whatsoever of the new Top Link on my My Site itself!  Maybe there's just an unexpected time lag between the creation of the link and its appearance on the site?  I don't know, but tune in tomorrow, and we'll find out together!


Posted Oct 15 2008, 06:14 PM by John Anderson

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About John Anderson

John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL.  New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process.  Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically).  Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.

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