Here is a beginner's question: I have an old WSS 3.0 site where I need to change the text of the description of the home page. (Not the site's description!)

The master page defines the position for the page description as follows:

<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="PlaceHolderPageDescription" runat="server"/>

My question is: from where does this placeholder fetch the description text, and how can I edit that description text? Do I need to use the SharePoint Designer program for that or can I change the text using the Web interface?


There is a similar question on MSDN - their question was about Meta tags in MOSS 2007 master pages (page description, among others). There, one of the answers was to create a special render control and generate the required HTML code via the control. From the site:

1) Create a render control and override the RenderFieldForDisplay method. For an example, see http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa981226.aspx. This article shows also how to create the custom edit mode but you don't need all of it. Deploy the custom control as mentioned in the article.

2) Add the contentplaceholder in the master page, or use the default Place this in the section, right after the tag for example.

3) Call the custom control to render the meta description field in the page layout:

<asp:Content ContentPlaceholderID="PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead" runat="server">
 <PublishingWebControls:EditModePanel runat="server" id="displayModeMetadata" PageDisplayMode="Display"  SuppressTag="true">
  <Mytag:HeadMetadataFieldControl FieldName="MyMetadatafieldname" runat="server"></Mytag:HeadMetadataFieldControl>

As far as ContentPlaceholder goes, Microsoft explains it here. There, it is said:

If you want your changes to a content placeholder to apply to the entire site, modify the content placeholder on the master page. You can also modify the content on an individual content page, thereby overriding the default content that is supplied to that content page by the master page.

Therefore, if you wish to edit/add the description, you have to do it by editing the content placeholder.


There is a Microsoft's article on creating publishing pages. There it says that there is a Description column in Pages Document Library, and, if it isn't shown, it can be added there like a regular column. You can then try to edit that column, like a regular one.

Enter a description in the Description box. This text is stored in the Description column of the Pages document library. By default this column does not appear in the library, but you can add it like any other column.

  • Thanks for your reply. Actually, I want to avoid editing any HTML code. Obviously, SharePoint stores the page description somewhere outside the HTML file; my question is where that description is stored and how I can modify it.
    – user17153
    May 22 '13 at 10:56
  • I edited my post, please have a look.
    – dzookatz
    May 22 '13 at 11:16
  • Where do I find this "Pages Document Library"? The site has no document library with that name. The page whose description I want to edit has the URL http://hostname/Sites/sitename/default.aspx; where would you look for the corresponding Pages Document Library? (Sorry for the dumb questions, but as I said, I am SharePoint beginner; and googling for "Pages Document Library" did not deliver useful results).
    – user17153
    May 22 '13 at 12:09
  • Click on the root of your site (or sub-site). Then on the Quick Launch (the menu with the links on the left side of page) should be a link called Libraries (if not, click on All Site Content link). From there, click on Site Pages (or maybe some other library, depending on your site). You can find the Home Page, or any other page you want to edit. Manipulating library columns how-to found here
    – dzookatz
    May 22 '13 at 12:51
  • The default.aspx page isn't contained in any of the document libraries.
    – user17153
    May 22 '13 at 14:42

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