I am using SharePoint Server 2007 Enterprise with Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and I am using publishing portal template.

I am using SharePoint Designer 2007 to design pages. When I open the default.aspx under Pages sub-folder of a site, there are two options:

  • Edit in Browser and
  • Edit Page Layout.

I want to know what are the differences between Edit in Browser and Edit Page Layout -- especially what is the function of Edit Page Layout, because when I select Edit Page Layout, WelcomeSplash.aspx opens in SharePoint Designer, other than default.aspx itself (very confused).

thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


Publishing pages have a PageLayout associated with them so they cannot be edited in SharePoint Designer directly unless you unassociate it with the Page layout. So when you get the option "Edit in Browser" basically is the same as selecting "Edit Page" from the site in which you move around web parts, and "Edit Page layout" will allow you to restructure the underlying layout which would impact any other pages that use the WelcomeSplash layout in that site collection.

  • 1
    WelcomeSplash.aspx is the Page Layout that created default.aspx Dec 20, 2009 at 15:35
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    Geroge - I would encourage you to pick up a book that go over the Publishing features in detail. There is a lot of functionality behind this feature set as you are starting to learn. Dec 20, 2009 at 16:33
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    The MasterPage is for formatting the general site chrome, think top sides and bottom. The main content window is not managed by a Masterpage. The PageLayout is used to format the content window. There are different layouts available and they are stored in the same library as the MasterPages. While the WelcomeSplash may not seem like it is needed, the other layout pages are crucial to the Publishing model. Consider what it would be like to have 1000s of articles. In this case you would really need to manage a stanard set of layouts. Dec 20, 2009 at 16:35
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    Here is a WCM book for SharePoint 2007. amazon.com/… To view the available layouts, click Site Actions, Site Settings, View All Site Settings and select the Master pages and page layouts link under Galleries. WelcomeSplash normally isn't used as often as the other layout pages in most environments so it may not seem as valuable. It is nice having consistency in the functionality though. 1000s of articles means more than 1000-2000 articles or pages. Dec 21, 2009 at 0:02
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    George2: I second next_connect's suggestion to purchase a book on this topic such as the one he suggests. This is too large a topic for lots of questions on SharePointOverflow. Come back to us if you get stuck! ;-)
    – Alex Angas
    Dec 21, 2009 at 4:14

The page layout is a template for authoring and rendering content in a publishing site. In general, a page layout will consist of Html structure, Content Placeholders,Field Controls and Web Part zones,additional CSS and Script references.When you "Edit Page layout", you make changes to any of them without affecting the underlying content.These changes will be applied to all pages which use this layout.

When you "Edit the page" in browser, you can insert\edit\version content (as list item in pages library) and can add\modify web parts.

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