For a client, I'm currently looking at placing a rich HTML field in the master page. This rich HTML field has to be fully configurable by the client (preferably from a web part), and should have the ability to do stuff like URL's, bold, and italics. Naturally, it should be displayed on every page.

What would be the best approach to achieve that?

Here's a visual representation of what I'm looking for:

enter image description here

2 Answers 2


Webparts in the masterpage are not configurable, meaning that you can indeed add a Content Editor WebPart to your masterpage, but it won't be editable from the browser, as you would like.

What you can do is adding a Xslt list view web part and retrieving fixed content from a list. For example, you can configure the CAML query to retrieve the first item (or item with ID 1) and display the html field wherever you want in your masterpage.

Your users will be able to edit the content by going to the list and editing the item from there.


just a quick how-to (far from being comprehensive, I just want to put you in the right direction).

  1. create a custom list and add a field of type enhanced rich text.
  2. In SharePoint Designer, edit your masterpage in advance mode. In Designer mode, insert an empty data view where you want your "dynamic html content" to appear. Then click on add a datasource and point to the custom list of #1.
  3. click on the Xslt in Designer mode, then on the ribbon List View Tools > Options > Filter and add a filter "field ID equals 1".
  4. go to the custom list, add a new item (this must be the only item you'll ever create in this list and never delete it!). Edit the richtext field right from the browser, save.
  5. Your richtext content will show up in every page which inherits your customized materpage.

Todo: customize the Xslt (click on the XSLT webpart, List View Tools > Design > Customize XSLT > Customize entire view). This requires some XSL/XSLT knowledge, for which I suggest you read the excellent Marc Anderson's series Unlocking the Mysteries of the SharePoint Data View Web Part XSL Tags (Xslt LVWP and DVWP are similiar in that both make use of XSLT to display data)

  • Thanks, this is pretty helpful, and a step in the right direction for me. Unfortunately, I'm quite unfamiliar with CAML. Do you have some tips on how I can implement a CAML query in the master page? There's also the problem that opening up the html file from the xslt list view opens up the HTML editor in SharePoint Designer. I can only assume it will open notepad on regular machines. So still looking for a WYSIWYG editor for SharePoint that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The best solution for me would be a hidden webpart functioning as the editor for the rich HTML part in the masterpage.
    – Refalm
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 14:48
  • I fear that a detailed step-by-step explanation would take more space than what is reasonable for an answer here. I didn't really get what you are referring to about "the html file from the xslt". There are no files involved in my proposed solution, just a field of type multiline/rich-text added to a custom list and with the XSLT you'll show this particular field on the masterpage
    – MdMazzotti
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 15:15
  • Let me add about the WYSIWYG editor for SharePoint: that's what SharePoint Designer 2010 actually is. Moreover, if you add a field of type enhanced rich text, the WYSIWYG experience is provided right in the browser
    – MdMazzotti
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 15:17
  • @Refalm I updated my answer with a quick how-to
    – MdMazzotti
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 15:49

I'm not sure you are using the right terminology.

If you want to display html in your master page, why don't you just edit the master page and put in the html?

Where does a "rich HTML" come in? What is "rich HTML" in your world, by the way?

If you want your master page to show a rich text field from a list, then just include a web part that exposes the relevant field from the relevant list. Use either a XSLT list view or a DVWP. The latter will give you more control about the rendering.

  • although appropriate, this doesn't appear to be an aswer. I think you should rather have posted it as a comment
    – MdMazzotti
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 11:01
  • @MdMazzotti I edited my post.
    – teylyn
    Commented Jan 31, 2014 at 11:05

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