SharePoint Branding – How CSS works with master pages – Part 3

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Welcome to the third article (or is it a manifesto?) in my series on SharePoint branding. In this article, we continue examining methods to incorporate CSS files into master pages for clever branding. In my first article of this topic, I discussed what I think is the main issue with SharePoint branding – APPLICATION.MASTER and CORE.CSS. The previous article to this one, examined 5 methods to deal with the trial and tribulations of APPLICATION.MASTER and CORE.CSS behavior. So, to recap where we got to, let’s re-examine the original scenario and then look at the summary of the 5 different several methods with their relative merits and issues.

The Scenario

Like many organizations, my client had an existing corporate branding standard that was used in a non SharePoint environment and naturally enough, they wanted their SharePoint site to look like this branding. This was for a fully featured intranet/extranet that utilized most of the MOSS2007 features such as

  • Document collaboration
  • Infopath Forms Services
  • Workflow
  • Enterprise Search
  • Excel services
  • Business Data Catalog
  • Custom web parts
  • Event Handlers

It was *not* a public site at all.

Initial investigation soon concluded that we would need a custom master page. DEFAULT.MASTER didn’t quite have the design flexibility that was required. In fact the branding requirements were actually closer to some of the built in master pages such as BLUEGLASS.MASTER, since this was for intranet purposes, particularly collaborative document management, those master pages are unsuitable.

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