Getting started: Take a tour of your SharePoint site

Applies to
Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services technology in Microsoft Windows Server™ 2003

This tour of your SharePoint site introduces you to the basic structure of your site based on Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services. It also helps you understand how to move around in and understand the basic features of of your site.

What is a SharePoint site for?

A SharePoint site is a Web site that provides a central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas. A SharePoint site is a tool for collaboration, just like a telephone is a tool for communication, or a meeting is a tool for decision making. A SharePoint site helps groups of people (whether work teams or social groups) share information and work together. For example, a SharePoint site can help you:

  • Coordinate projects, calendars, and schedules.
  • Discuss ideas and review documents or proposals.
  • Share information and keep in touch with other people.

SharePoint sites are dynamic and interactive — members of the site can contribute their own ideas and content as well as comment on or contribute to other people's. They don't have to use a complicated Web publishing process before they can post a document or make an announcement.

What is in a SharePoint site?

By default, your SharePoint site includes a default home page with space for highlighting the information important to your group, and several predefined pages for storing documents, ideas, and information so you can start working right away. Your site also includes navigation elements so you can find your way around. This tour covers the default site template, the team site template.

Welcome to the home page

The home page of your site is your starting point. It contains the Quick Launch bar, views of the Announcements, Events, and Links lists, and the name and description of your team Web site.

ShowQuick Launch bar

The Quick Launch bar contains hyperlinks to specific pages on your SharePoint site.

Quick Launch bar

Whenever you add a page to your site, you have the option of including a hyperlink to that page on the Quick Launch bar.


The Announcements list is a place to post important information for your whole team, such as an announcement about an upcoming symposium or a reminder to bring a potluck item to the lunch tomorrow. The five most recent announcements in the Announcements list are displayed on the home page by default. You can also click the Announcements list heading to go to the full list of announcements.

When you create your SharePoint site, a built-in announcement is displayed automatically. You can edit or delete this announcement, as desired, and add your own announcements from either the home page or the Announcements page.


The Events list is intended to help you communicate about your team's events — whether those are meetings, key deadlines, or work schedules. When you create your SharePoint site, this list is empty. You can add your team's events to the list.


The Links list is intended to include hyperlinks to your team's favorite Web pages or sites (such as your organization's Internet site). When you create your site, this list is empty.

Getting around in the site

The top link bar is displayed on every page in your SharePoint site.

Top navigation bar

The top link bar contains hyperlinks to special pages in your site that help you navigate within the site, customize and manage the site, or get Help using the site. The hyperlinks on the top link bar are:


The Home hyperlink on the top link bar links to the home page.

ShowDocuments and Lists

The Documents and Lists hyperlink on the top link bar links to a page that displays all the document libraries, picture libraries, lists, discussion boards, and surveys currently in your site. You can use this page to navigate to the lists and document libraries in your site. You can also use a link on the page to see any sites, Document Workspace sites, or Meeting Workspace sites below your site.


The Create hyperlink on the top link bar links to a page that enables you to create new pages and components for your site. By using this page, you can create items such as a list that is like any of the built-in lists, a list based on an existing spreadsheet, a document library, a discussion board, a survey, or a new page for your site.

ShowSite Settings

The Site Settings hyperlink on the top link bar links to a page where you can change your personal information, change the name and description of your SharePoint site, change site content, and perform site management tasks, such as changing personal settings or setting up new team members for the SharePoint site. You must be a member of the Administrator site group to perform site management tasks.


The Help hyperlink on the top link bar opens a separate browser window containing the Help system for Windows SharePoint Services. Use the Help window to find information about Windows SharePoint Services and "how to" steps for using your SharePoint site.

ShowUp to Site Name

SharePoint sites can contain other SharePoint sites (called subsites) in a hierarchy. The Up to Site Name hyperlink (where Site Name is the name of an actual site) appears only if your site is a subsite of another SharePoint site. This link helps you navigate up a level to the parent site.

Beyond the home page — looking at site content

The pages in your SharePoint site display data for your team. Most of the pages in your site are lists of data, such as the Announcements or Events list. On these list pages, the data is displayed in rows and columns, with a series of commands across the top and a selection of views to choose from.


The list toolbar provides hyperlinks to pages that contain forms for adding and editing items in a list, document library, or discussion board.


ShowSelect a view and Actions

Some pages, such as the one that displays the Tasks list, provide a selection of views so that you can see the data in various ways.

A default view of the data is the view that automatically appears when you follow a hyperlink to the page — for example, when you click Tasks on the Quick Launch bar. You can see other views by clicking their names in the Select a view list.

The Actions list contains links for modifying list settings, creating alerts (notifications of changes to the list) and more.

Select a View and Actions menu

ShowMenus for items and files

The menus for items and files give you quick access to frequently-used commands. What appears on these menus changes, depending on whether you are looking at a list or a document library. For a list, you see commands such as View Item, Edit Item, and Delete Item. For a document library, you see View Properties, Edit Properties, and Delete. This menu also contains an Alert Me command that lets you sign up to be alerted whenever a document or item changes.

Edit control menu

In addition to the Announcements, Events, and Links lists that appear on the home page, your site may contain any of the following standard list types:

ShowDocument library

Document libraries provide a central place to store and share your team's documents. Your site contains a default document library — Shared Documents — that you can get to from the Quick Launch bar on the home page. You can create additional document libraries to store documents for a specific project, or you can create folders inside Shared Documents for different types or categories of documents.

ShowPicture library

Picture libraries provide a central place to store and share pictures. It is similar in concept to a document library, but gives you special ways to view the pictures (such as showing only thumbnails or showing all pictures in a filmstrip).


The Contacts list lets you store and share information about people. For example, you can use this list to share your team member's home phone numbers, or to store your customer information.


The Tasks list helps you organize team tasks (work items that your team needs to complete), and assign them a status and priority as well as a due date.


The Issues list helps you manage a set of issues or problems, and assign them a status and priority as well as a due date.

In addition, your site may contain the following types of pages:

ShowDiscussion Boards

Discussion boards provide a forum for conversing about topics that interest your team. For example, you could create a discussion board for team members to suggest activities.


Surveys provide a way of polling team members.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003, Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0