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Begin Customizing Your Home Page in Sharepoint

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Haven't used SharePoint web parts? Laurie Rowell demonstrates the steps to get you off and running, possibly even dancing, as you arrange your SharePoint Services or SharePoint Portal Server workspace for your own convenience.
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Why change your personal views in SharePoint so they don't look like the team defaults? Is this just another opportunity to be contrary? Certainly not! It's a chance to get your SharePoint workspace set up for maximum efficiency, just the way you personally like it. You can remove bits that you never use and that just clutter up the space, include links to frequently consulted files or sites, add lists that you like to track. As for the satisfactory buzz you get when a coworker plops down before your monitor and freezes in bewilderment at the way you've rearranged interfaces so they no longer look familiar—well, that's just gravy.

For this exercise, we'll just be changing your personal view of a SharePoint site, but you can use the same procedures to redesign your team views if you have Web Designer or Administrator permission.

What Are Web Parts?

Web parts are usable (and reusable) groups of data in a web format that function as components on your virtual page. The Announcements, Events, Tasks, Links, and even the logo in Figure 1 are all web parts. These components can be moved around easily on your SharePoint site, allowing you to customize your views to suit your needs.

Figure 1

Figure 1 Announcements, Events, Tasks, etc. are web parts.

To manipulate these web parts, all you need to do is put your site into design mode, make a change, and take it back out of design mode. As you move through the steps in the following sections, however, keep in mind that SharePoint response can be sluggish. Chances are that you'll need to give the program a few seconds to catch up with you when you make a request.

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