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SharePoint Designer 2013 is Also the Best Tool Available to Work With Custom CSS and Master Pages for SharePoint Online, Office 365

The job of linking a custom CSS file to a Master Page for SharePoint Online, Office 365, becomes easier, as Yaroslav Pentsarskyy points out in a video tutorial titled Linking CSS from Master Pages. In fact, it is entirely possible to use SharePoint Designer as the editor to create a custom Style Sheet.

Perhaps an added benefit of approaching the job of linking custom CSS to a Master Page is the security SharePoint Online lends to the process via its version controlled document library structure. In this video tutorial Yaroslav admonishes his audience to make a point of respecting this feature of how SharePoint manages the “styles library”, and the “Master Pages Gallery”. But, seen from a different perspective, the chore of regularly checking out files for editing and then checking them back in can eliminate a lot of the mistakes otherwise inherent to a looser process, where, perhaps inadvertently, a developer works on the wrong version of a CSS sheet and, thereby, ends up wasting a lot of time, not to mention the potential for damages to the page, which is the subject of the development activity.

For anyone with a lot of experience branding web sites, but not a lot of experiencing branding SharePoint sites, understanding the value of SharePoint Designer as the preferred method of doing this work may be a challenge. After all, unless this earlier experience was spent with another graphical tool (for example, Dreamweaver), respecting the importance of using point and click procedures to make changes to style sheets, Master Pages, and to work with the version-controlled libraries serving as the repositories for these branding artifacts, may be a challenge. But, as Yaroslav demonstrates in this video tutorial, these methods do not mean sacrificing any rapidity, nor increasing the likelihood of error (as long as one follows the procedures demonstrated). Bottom line, this tool is the preferred method of not only working with Master Pages, but also for the task of linking custom CSS to them.

Ira Michael Blonder

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