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I have a publishing site and I created a page, which allows publishing, but also allows me to add web parts. When I open this page in Designer it informs me that I can only edit the layout mode and not the content..If I want to edit it, I need to use the browser. Is there a way to modify the content? or is the only way I can modify the web part is using css?

This is what it currently looks like: enter image description here

What I would like it to look like without the extra title bar or the spacing

enter image description here

I was able to do this in the non publishing mode of sharepoint 2010...can it also be done in the publishing mode?

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once you open it with SharePoint Designer select Advanced mode which allows you to edit the publishing page.

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It allows me to edit the publishing page, but not the web part itself. Thank you. – Diana May 8 '13 at 14:29
did you try to edit it using UI ? like check out the page and edit it.... which may work sometimes – shreyas May 9 '13 at 0:14
Yes I did try using the UI, but all I get is the page content. – Diana May 9 '13 at 15:14

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