Apply Custom Master Pages in SharePoint 2010
First you have to enable the Publishing feature
Site Actions > Site Settings > Site Actions section > Manage Site Features
SharePoint Server Publishing > Click on Activate
Now create a Custom Master Page
Site Actions > Edit in SharePoint Designer
In SharePoint Designer
- Select your site
- Click on Master Pages on the left
- In the Ribbon click on Blank Page Master
- Name appropriately
- Download Randy Driscoll’s Starter Master Pages for SharePoint 2010 http://startermasterpages.codeplex.com/
- Unzip and copy the Foundation (foundation) or SharePoint Server (publishing) version of the master page, depending on your installation, and paste into your new master page content.
- save the custom master page
Note: You can also duplicate a master page by right clicking on the listing, then using copy and paste.
Make new master page available
Site Actions > Site Settings > Galleries > Master pages and page layouts
Click on master page to select the row
In the ribbon, click on “Check In” if it is available
In the ribbon, click on “Approve/Reject” to approve your new master page for use
If the “Compatible UI Version(s)” field does not have the correct UI(s), click on the Edit Properties in the ribbon and add or change the UI Version (3 is if you are using the legacy UI, usually from an upgrade – 4 is for the new 2010 UI)
Apply your custom master page
Site Actions > Site Settings > Look and Feel > Master Page (available now that publishing has been enabled)
Site Master Page > Specify a master page > select custom master page
Note: This is used by publishing pages, select reset all subsites if you like!
System Master Page > Specify a master page > select custom master page
Note: This is used by forms, “view” pages and pretty much everything that is not a publishing page on your site. Select reset all subsites if you like!
Alternate css url > specify a css file > browse and select the css file
Note: select reset all subsites to inherit this alternate css url if you like!
Click on OK and watch the magic! You can now edit the master page without fear of destroying your site! If you are really good with CSS (you will need to use alot of parent-child type of css to alter preset styles) you should not have a problem. If you need to brush up, you can start with checking out W3schools.com for a refresher.