SharePoint 2010 Base Master Page / Minimal Master Page- Foundation Sites

One of the great joys of working with SharePoint is taking the SharePoint out of SharePoint. Don’t believe me? Check out this site built on top of SharePoint. Not too SharePointy huh?

Yes, you can hide, move, modify, and change most any part of a SharePoint site. When working with SharePoint 2007 and WSS 3.0, I would often utilize Heather Soloman’s base Master pages as they provided a quick, easy way to add my own formatting.

With SharePoint 2010, Randy Drisgill created a set of starter master pages for SharePoint and placed them at CodePlex. Starter Master Pages for SharePoint 2010 (Formerly known as Minimal Master Pages)

Although helpful and a great place to start, I decided to create my own base master pages for SharePoint 2010 based on my formatting preferences.

Download SharePoint 2010 Base MasterPages for Foundation Sites

Within this zip file you will find two files.

v4base_foundation.master – This is the base masterpage. It’s a modification of the v4.master file that SharePoint creates for you. I have removed some extra formatting, added some code the Microsoft seems to have forgotten, and otherwise formatted and commented on each aspect to the masterpage for quick reference. To use this, create a SharePoint 2010 foundation site if you haven’t already, then open the new site in SPD 2010. Once logged into the site go to All Files->_catalogs ->masterpage and copy and paste the v4base_foundation.master file to the masterpage directory. Right click on the new .master file and set it as the Default Master Page. You can now add/modify formatting as required.

One point to consider is that I added a custom css line to the header:


<</span><span class="purple">SharePoint:CssRegistration</span> <span class="red">name</span>="/Style Library/mysite/style.css" <span class="red">after</span>="corev4.css" <span class="red">runat</span>="server"/>

This is assuming that there is a new stylesheet added, style.css, that is placed in a directory within the site collections Style Library, under a subdirectory, mysite. First, you can add this style.css file in any directory you wish if you have access to the site collections Style Library. Second, you can rename the stylesheet filename to whatever you wish. Third, if you do not have access to the site collection Style Library, place the stylesheet in the masterpage directory or the site’s image directory. It’s up to you, although SharePoint would prefer that you add it to the Style Library somewhere. Whatever you decide, do not forget to update the directory path and filename in the <SharePoint:CssRegistration> tag.

v4base_foundation_hidden.master – This is basically the same file as the v4base_foundation.master page. The only difference is that I enclosed all of the primary SharePoint components in a div that is hidden. Why you might ask? Sometimes I find it much easier to hide everything, add my formatting in raw html / css, then start adding back in SharePoint components. Since I already have that masterpage created as well, I added it to the zip in case you would find this helpful.

My thanks to Heather Soloman and Randy Drisgill’s blog posts, they have been great references in the past. I simply wanted my own implementation, with my own formatting for my starting points for SharePoint 2010 projects. You may use my base master pages however you like. I cannot guarantee that they will work in every situation you have, so do not forget to back up your original masterpages just in case.

I will look to provide my SharePoint 2010 Server base master pages shortly. Otherwise, post a comment below if you have any questions.

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