The Look and Feel Section in SharePoint Site Settings

The Look and Feel section of the Site Settings page includes links for managing things like the color, title, and landing page. You can easily change a number of things to customize your site and make it your own.

The Look and Feel section of the Site Settings page is a perfect lesson in SharePoint frustration. The links that appear in this section depend on whether you have the SharePoint Server Publishing feature activated. Not knowing this could cause you frustration because you may read about a settings link, but when you look at your own SharePoint 2013 site, that link is nowhere to be found.

To make matters worse, the links are different depending on whether SharePoint Server Publishing is activated at the site collection level or the site level. For example, you could have SharePoint Server Publishing activated at the site collection level but not activated at the site level.

You will still see the Navigation link in the Look and Feel section, as opposed to the top link bar and Quick Launch navigation links that appear if the publishing feature was deactivated at the site collection level.

The Look and Feel section contains the following setting links (when the SharePoint Server Publishing feature is not active at the site collection or site level):

  • Title, Description, and Logo is where you can change the title of your site, add or edit the description, and insert a logo. Just changing the title and logo is often enough to make a business site your own. With this simple change, your site looks professional and unique to your team or organization.

  • Quick Launch enables you to configure the navigation on the left side of the page. You can add headings, links, and change the order.

  • Top Link Bar enables you to configure navigation at the top of the page.

  • Tree View is where you enable or disable the Quick Launch (left navigation) or turn on a special type of navigation on the left side that shows a tree of the site’s content.

  • Change the Look is where you choose the colors and design of the site. There are some exciting and outrageous looks such as Sea Monster and Immerse. The looks available to choose from are in the Composed Looks gallery.

When you activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure feature at the site collection level, the Tree View and Top Link Bar setting links disappear and are replaced with a single Navigation link. In addition, the following settings links appear (even though the SharePoint Server Publishing feature has not been activated for this particular site, it was activated at the site collection that contains this site).

  • Design Manager is a web-based tool that you can use to create your own SharePoint site designs. The tool is wizard based and walks you through uploading design files, editing your master page, changing page layouts, and publishing and packaging your design.

  • Device Channels enables you to specify certain characteristics of your site based on the device used to view the site. A channel can be optimized for the device to display the site in a specific way.

    For example, you can set up a channel for smartphones (such as an iPhone or Windows Phone). You could set up a different channel for the iPad or Surface tablets. And finally, you can set up a channel for laptops and desktop browsers.

  • Import Design Package enables you to import a design package developed by a third party or in-house designer.

  • Navigation enables you to manage navigation links and also change how the navigation behaves. You can configure global navigation (top of page) and also current navigation (left side of page). The Navigation settings page also enables you to change the sorting order of the navigational links and show and hide the Ribbon.

When you activate the SharePoint Server Publishing feature for this particular site, the following links appear in the Look and Feel section:

  • Master Page is where you choose which master page the site uses and which master page the system uses. The system master page is for pages used by the system, such as when you view an app.

  • Page Layouts and Site Templates enables you to control which page layouts and site templates are available for users of the site. All the page layouts are contained in a gallery. This settings page enables you to limit the page layouts and site templates that users of the site can use.

  • Welcome Page is the landing page for a publishing site. You can use this settings page to determine which page should be used for the landing page.

  • Image Renditions is where you determine how images and video should render. You can choose a particular width and height for each type of image or video.

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