Web Development

SharePoint Designer

The program used to update departmental web sites is called SharePoint Designer 2007. This program is a product of Microsoft and will only work on computers using Microsoft Windows. SharePoint Designer is included as part of the Microsoft Campus Agreement (MSCA), so it is available to students, faculty and staff for personal or home use, as well to ISU departments. Each eligible person is allowed one (1) download for personal home use. Click on the download link below to download SharePoint Designer. Please note, you will be asked to login with your Sycamore portal-ID and password to download the software. If you prefer, you may request that a User Services consultant install the software on the University-owned computers. Please contact the OIT Help Desk (see below) so they can create a ticket and assign it to a consultant.
Because of changes by Microsoft, the 2010 version of SharePoint Designer will NOT work to update web pages.

Link: Download SharePoint Designer

Link: OIT Help Desk.

For Departmental Use

To obtain SharePoint Designer software for installation on University-owned computers, you may download it from the same web page (see above). (Doing so does not affect your ability to download your one (1) copy for personal use.) You can then install it on University-owned computers as desired.

If you prefer, you may request that a User Services consultant install the software on the University-owned computers. Simple contact the Help Desk (see below) so they can create a ticket and assign it to a consultant.

If you have questions about obtaining this or any other Microsoft software through the MSCA, please contact the Help Desk at x2910 or ithelp@indstate.edu.


When a SharePoint account is created, your password is set to be the same as your Sycamore portal password. Never let someone else use your account name and password to access a website. All access and changes are logged for accountability.
This is an automated feature. Web staff have no access to passwords and cannot change a user's password for them. To change your password, you must do so through your Sycamore portal account. Doing so will change the password for your network login, GroupWise account, ISecUre account, and SharePoint account.
If the system does not accept your password, entering the same password repeatedly will not fix the problem. If you try unsuccessfully more than four (4) times, the system will lock your SharePoint account. In that case, a technician would need to reset your password and unlock your account in order for you to log in. 

Logging into your site

No one is allowed to log into the web server without an account. Please contact the ISU Web Content Manager to obtain an account for your department web site.

How to open your site in SharePoint Designer

Step 1: Open the SharePoint Designer program. You can do so by going to Start > Programs > Microsoft Office > Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer. At some point, this will ask for your username and password to log into the server. Use your MyISU email name and password to open the program.
Step 2: Once you have SharePoint open, go to the upper left hand corner

Update Existing Pages

Once you have completed the above steps, you should be set to start work on your departmental website. When you have SharePoint open, you should see a Folder List of all of the pages and folders for your website on the left hand side. Your main page is most often called index.htm. You should always keep your opening page titled index. When someone goes to your site to look at it, the computer looks for index first. The rest of the pages in your site can be named anything you like that makes sense to you. Most web page have .htm at the end. Some sites also use .html and .php.
When you have a page that needs updated, just double click it on the left side to open it. Now you can start making changes. Since SharePoint was created by Microsoft, most of the features work just like Word. You can copy, paste, highlight things and change them, etc.

WARNING: When you are working on your site, as soon as you save something, it is live on the internet. That is a little scary but it makes making changes easy and fast.


For your left side navigation links and contact information, the ISU Template uses code called Server Side Include. This is a code that lets you make a change in one file that will work on your whole website. The reason for this is that when you need to make a change, you don't have to open each and every page now and update the links. You can do it all on one list and that will change the whole website. There is a folder on your site called "inc." In this folder there should be 2 files. One is called contact.htm and the other is navigation.htm. You can open and change these files by double clicking them in SharePoint Designer.

Because of the use of Server Side Include files in the template, not everything will look the same on your work area as it will on the internet. Any time you want to see how things look online, go to
File > Preview in Browser to open your page in a web browser. Please note, not all web browsers work the same. It can be helpful to check in more than one browser. Once you look at your page, close the browser and continue working in SharePoint until you have things the way you want them.

Making New Pages

If you ever need to start a whole new page, half of the work is done for you. There should be a blank page called template.htm in your folder. If you right click on it and copy it then paste it, you will then have a new page to work with. It will already have all of the code built in for the links and background and everything that matches your site, all you have to do is go in any type your new material. The name of your new page will be template_copy(1).htm. If you right click on it, you can then rename it to something that fits your need. Just remember to end it with .htm.

Reminder: Please make sure you move a copy of any image or pdf file that you want to use to your website before you link it. This can be done by simply dragging an item from your desktop into your SharePoint site folder. When using images, please consider standard web requirements and copyright issues.

Web Support
That is a basic overview of working within the ISU template. If you need Web Services to help you with your site, we ask that you please place a request to Web Services on the Web Services request form.

Link: Web Services Request Form.