Managing SharePoint Designer Access - dummies

Managing SharePoint Designer Access

By Rosemarie Withee, Ken Withee

SharePoint 2016 allows you to configure which users can use SharePoint Designer to access your site. Before you jump to the conclusion that you don’t want anyone doing that, bear in mind that the role of SharePoint Designer has changed. SharePoint Designer is the primary tool used for developing workflow. Workflow has a number of powerful abilities that maximize processes.

SharePoint Designer 2013 is used to develop workflows for SharePoint 2016. Microsoft decided not to rebrand the SharePoint Designer tool. Speculation is that at some point they will move away from a separate tool, like SharePoint Designer, to a web-based app contained within SharePoint that workflow developers can use. There are also a number of really amazing workflow creation tools on the market such as those made by Nintex and K2.

To grant a user the right to use SharePoint Designer with your site:

  1. Browse to the top-level site of your team site, click the Settings gear icon, and choose Site Settings, and then click the SharePoint Designer Settings link in the Site Collection Administration section.
  2. Select the options that you want to enable:
    • Enable SharePoint Designer: Users who are Site Owners or who have Design permissions can use SharePoint Designer to access your site.
    • Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition: It’s not a good idea to allow this unless you have a good reason to do so. Detaching pages can cause problems when upgrading later. Lots of people do this all the time while developing, but then they implement their changes later in such a way that doesn’t require detaching from the site definition.
    • Enable Customizing Master Pages and Page Layouts: This is fine for publishing sites, although not usually required for team sites.
    • Enable Managing of the website URL Structure: This allows users to see the folder hierarchy. You can usually allow this unless you think it will overwhelm the user.
  3. Click OK to save your changes.