Archive for April, 2007

Using a custom master page in a site definition

30 April 2007 9 comments


Don’t use the Sharepoint Solution Generator, so far we have not been able to upgrade the site definitions through a solution without it killing existing sites based on the site¬†definition.¬†

I have seen many different ways of doing this, but I found the following method seemed to work for me, using the “SharePoint Extensions for Visual Studio 2005” and the “SharePoint Solutions Generator

  • Use the “SharePoint Solution Generator” to create a site definition project.
  • Open the project and add your custom master page to the “Site Definition” folder

  • Open up “onet.xml”
  • Add the following node to the “ListTemplates” section

<ListTemplate Name=”mplibDisplayName=”$Resources:MasterPageGallery;Description=”$Resources:global_onet_mplib_desc;SetupPath=”global\lists\mplibType=”116BaseType=”1Path=”GLOBALHidden=”TRUEHiddenList=”TRUENoCrawl=”TRUEUnique=”TRUECatalog=”TRUEOnQuickLaunch=”FALSESecurityBits=”11AllowDeletion=”FALSEAllowEveryoneViewItems=”TRUEImage=”/_layouts/images/itdl.gifAlwaysIncludeContent=”TRUEDocumentTemplate=”100” />

  • Add the “MasterUrl” attribute to the “Configuration” node with a value of “_catalogs/masterpage/project.master”, where project.master is the name of your custom master page. This means all the pages using the “~masterurl/default.master” token will use the URL defined to point to your custom master page

<Configuration ID=”0Name=”DefaultMasterUrl=”_catalogs/masterpage/project.master“>

  • Add a “Module” node to the Modules section of the configuration called “MasterPage” that will reference the module definition in the “Modules” section of the onet file

<Module Name=”MasterPage” />

  • Add a module definition to the “Modules” section of the onet file. This will copy the custom master page file into the master page library when the site is provisioned.

<Module Name=”MasterPageList=”116Url=”_catalogs/masterpageRootWebOnly=”FALSE“>

<File Url=”project.masterType=”GhostableInLibraryIgnoreIfAlreadyExists=”TRUE” />


  • Save the onet file and then deploy the project into your environment using the deploy option in “SharePoint Extensions for VS 2005”
  • When you create a new site from your site definition it should now use your new master page.

Below is a screen grab of the onet.xml file with all the changes highlighted


Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,