I've created a page via SITE ACTIONS > CREATE > WEB PAGES > BASIC PAGE.

That gave me the Rich Text editor, where I pasted in some stuff text from the platform I'm migrating from (conventional HTML). Note that I copied and pasted via the browser, not by pasting in the raw HTML.

For the most part it worked well. Picked up all the necessary formatting, etc. However, the pages are very wide - too wide. It makes it hard to read the text.

An easy (and pretty old fashioned) solution is to create a 1x1 table and to put all the text inside the table. Then, specify the table width (e.g., 500 pixels) and that's it.

I can create the table in the Rich Text editor and can even set its width. But I can't remove the border! I need the Source Editor for that (e.g., border="0").

On the various Web Parts I have in the site, I've a choice of using the Rich Text Editor or the Source Editor. But on these "web pages" (not web parts) I can only get the Rich Text editor. (There's a link on the right side, under "Site Action," that says "Edit Content.")

Is there a way to get the Source Editor on this kind of page?

5 Answers 5


I hate the basic page. I often find a webpart page with a content editor webpart to be much more flexible. Maybe give that a try.

  • Sometimes dangerously flexible... ;-) Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 20:06

You can open the basic page you created with SharePoint Designer and edit all of the properties of your table as well as any other elements you want to add. SharePoint Designer is free (download here). Good luck and happy editing!

  • Robert, I see that SPD is free, but does it have to be installed on the server where SP is coming from, or can I just put it on my desktop machine and use it like that? (I'm not the site admin; I'm just a regular user.)
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 20:44
  • SPD can be installed on your local machine. You do have to at least have Contribute permissions in order to modify anything within a site, but that should already be the case since you're able to add a basic page, etc.
    – Robert
    Commented Apr 13, 2010 at 21:05
  • Me again. I downloaded and installed SP designer. It's just a big ol' HTML editor. It doesn't help me with my problem: the problem is that I don't seem to have access to the HTML files because they're in the SP database. Having an HTML editor doesn't help (I already had an editor). I need something that will reach into the database and let me edit in HTML mode instead of Rich Text mode. Is there a way to get SP Designer to do that? Currently there is no connection between the SP Designer on my desktop and the SP files on the server!
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 20, 2010 at 18:26
  • WAIT! I just realized there's now an "Open in Sharepoint Designer" option when I look at the document in whatever you call that view where every document has a drop-down list of options. Oddly, it opened the entire Sharepoint page (all the containers, etc.) and not just the html document I want to edit. Seems pretty silly, and dangerous.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 20, 2010 at 18:51

I did some playing around with this and it is actually possible to enable the html source editor.

The rich text editor that pops up when you click 'edit content' is located in the file

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\htmledit.aspx

If you open up this file, lines 149-171 will look like this


The second last parameter (line 169) is what determines whether html editing mode is enabled. Change the false to true, and save the file. Now when you click edit content, the editor that pops up will have an extra button on the toolbar in the top right corner.

Click that button and another window with the html source will be displayed.

Hope that helps. Standard disclaimer though: Modifying SharePoint infrastructure files in this way is generally not recommended and will affect all sites in all web applications. Any changes made are subject to being overwritten by future service packs or updates.

  • Paul, that looks awesome! I don't have direct access to the server, but I might be able to use this down the road. (The admin knows even less about SP than I do, so I can talk him into it easily. But right now there's a design company doing a bunch of design work on the site, so I'll wait until that's done.)
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 14, 2010 at 14:08

Another thing you should consider is putting the content into lists or publishing pages. You haven't said enough about what you are migrating for me to know if either of these is a good idea, but just migrating over HTML content without taking advantage of some of SharePoint's more sophisticated capabilities won't be as much of a step forward as it could be.

  • Thanks Marc. I've seen references to "publishing pages" but I haven't seen a good explanation of what those are. What I'm doing should be dead simple. Old system = an index.html page with six links. Each link goes to an html page with some text and images, and a link back to the index. Simple web site. I want that recreated in SP, but as web pages, not as "downloadable documents" or whatever SP calls them. I don't need collaboration and I don't want other people to check in/out etc. Just readable web pages.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 14, 2010 at 14:07
  • I guess I'm confused why you want to move these pages into SharePoint "as is" without understanding SharePoint better and taking advantage of the capabilities it provides. If you want these pages to stay as flat html pages, then what's the gain? Commented Apr 15, 2010 at 1:08
  • Marc, it's not a question of "gain" it's a question of having these pages be quick-loading READ ONLY (to others) pages in the browser. Seems like the standard SP paradigm is to treat everything as a "document," in a library, which is more cumbersome and slower. I don't want people to have to sort through a library and find "file.html" as if it were a Word document and then check it out or whatever. I want them to be able to just click a link and see the page right away, just like a regular web site.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 20, 2010 at 18:30
  • I'd suggest that you take some time to learn about Web Content Management within SharePoint, as it can be much more sophisticated and useful than you describe. If you just jam the content in without understanding the platform, you won't end up with a good result. That won't mean that SharePoint is "bad". Commented Apr 20, 2010 at 18:56
  • Fair enough. But I've been making web sites on various platforms for more than 10 years. SP boggles my mind because it uses a whole different paradigm. I've already spent about three full workdays trying to figure it out and all I have are these five pages that I can't even get to work the way I want. On any other platform I could have done that in half an hour. I don't think I should have to get a PhD in Sharepoint's "alternative reality" just to make a tiny web site. :-/
    – Anonymous
    Commented Apr 23, 2010 at 14:46

Thanks... I was looking for that code editor as well. Odd that it shows up in other places such as when you are typing a description for a calander meeting. Nobody needs it there! We need it when we create a web page! I wish the answer was not 'edit' the code to enable the button but I like that better than "just go use a list" No, that is not what I want to do. (And yes... maybe a web part page with a BIG content editor area would suffice.



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.