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I got very simple task to make custom layout in SharePoint 2013. Nothing fancy: change navigation, add homepage etc.

I couldn't find a one and the best way how to create own master page. I have tried to modify existing master pages, so they could work with Composed Looks, but I got problems understanding, how css file is created. So I left this approach and tried to follow Benjamin's Niaulin article. And I got at least 3 problems.

First of all, when I go to a Design Manager, I have little different list:

enter image description here

The "Name" column is blank, but when hovering the cursor over icon, I got name displayed. Also, there is no field "Status" for conversion. Probably I'm on the wrong level (this is Design Manager for site level), but I'm not sure.

I accidentally discovered, that when I click "About me" on top navigation and then on a small cog, there is no "Site settings". But after that, I can click on "Site contents" and when I'm here, there are "Site settings" under the cog. This is very strange for me, I don't know what exactly I'm doing. And when I'm on this site settings and go to Design Manager, I have exactly the same look as in article.

So I created minimal master page, just to play around. But when I'm previewing it and try to change Preview Page, I always got an error, that this page doesn't exist.

And the last problem: so I have the generic page and I click "Snippets", the new tab opens saying: "Sorry, something went wrong". Correlation ID is 3134039c-b656-500e-1c11-f963d30649cf (if needed).

I have the feeling, that I'm doing some silly beginner's mistakes, like not enabling some features or something like that. I would really appreciate any help.

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2 Answers 2

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It sounds like something is wrong with your setup. Can you try creating a new site collection and making yourself admin or something (to make sure you have the proper rights)?

Like you said, you are seeing the right stuff in the Design Manager > Master Pages menu, and sounds like the snippets aren't working either.

Your comment about the settings gear showing Site Settings in some areas and not others makes me think you may have a permission issue.

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I feel silly right now. Almost all problems are solved on new site collection. Only the site settings under the cog are a problem, but as You said, this is probably permission issue. I don't know what I have messed up in previous site collection. Thanks for Your help ;) –  Marcin Bigoraj Feb 28 '13 at 16:38

A great tool to make such minor changes is SharePoint Designer 2013.

With this tool you can easily copy/paste files to make a copy of for instance an existing masterpage.

An essential thing to keep in mind with SharePoint 2013 is that masterpages now also have a .preview file associated with it. It's not a necessity but it is very important that it exists when you use the Design Manager to change the look and fool of your site.

So with SharePoint Designer, make a copy of for example Seatle.master and Seatle.preview and rename them. Remember that the .preview file most have the same name as the .master.

Example:
MyCustomMasterpage.master
MyCustomMasterpage.preview

If you need a new CSS file, it is best to locate this in the Style Library - This library is made specifically for branding material. It can be found on the root site.

In your SharePoint Designer go to the Style Library, create a new folder and in it right-click and select New > CSS.
When your CSS file is created you can go back to edit your custom masterpage and add the CSS reference in that.

Some great links about this:

Creating a new master page in SharePoint 2013

Refer Scripts and CSS Style Sheet in SharePoint 2013 Visual Web Part and Master Page

What's new with SharePoint 2013 site development

This will give you a well start. Hope it helps you :)

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Thanks for Your answer. I have tried everything of that before. The thing that I don't like in this approach, is when creating master page and preview, I'm enabling option to choose master page in Composed Looks. But when relying on custom CSS, there will be a small bug, that I can switch color palette, but nothing really happens (because all colors will be defined in custom CSS) –  Marcin Bigoraj Feb 28 '13 at 16:33

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