SharePoint Designer is a powerful application that enables the rapid creation, editing and deployment of content on the SharePoint platform. As such, there are multiple configuration options within SharePoint that let you manage how Microsoft SharePoint Designer is used. These options can be applied at either the Web application level or the site collection level.
You can manage how Microsoft SharePoint Designer is used at two levels:
Web application level which is applicable to all site collections in the web application and to the site collection administrators.
Site collection level (managed by site collection administrators) which is applicable to all sites in the collection along with the Designers and Owners group.
Note: In SharePoint, only the Designers group and above can open SharePoint sites in SharePoint Designer 2010.
You can control the following types of access to SharePoint Designer 2010 at the Web application level. You configure these settings using the SharePoint Central Administration Web site, under General Application Settings. From the General Application Settings page, select Configure SharePoint Designer Settings. This page displays the available options and their current settings. To set these options for a Web application other than the default, select the application using the dropdown control at the top of the form.
Enable SharePoint Designer Enables or disables SharePoint Designer for the Web Application and all of its site collections.
Note: If unchecked, users still see SharePoint Designer buttons in the browser, but when they click them, they get a message stating that SharePoint Designer is not allowed on the site.
Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition Enables or disables the ability to detach pages from the site definition. If unchecked, SharePoint Designer only allows you to edit pages in normal mode. The Edit File in Advanced Mode is disabled. Running in Advanced mode lets a user ghost pages by modifying them from the content originally in the site definition stored on the server’s hard drive. The customized version of the page is stored in the SharePoint content database. Any changes made to the site definition files aren’t reflected in detached pages. This can create maintainability problems and should be used with care.
Note: This setting does not apply to pages that have already been detached as well as new blank ASPX or HTML pages created by the user.
Enable Customizing Master Pages and Layout Pages Enables or disables the ability to customize master pages and page layouts. If unchecked, SharePoint Designer does not display Master Pages or Page Layouts in the Navigation pane.
Note: Page layouts also require publishing enabled on the server, so if you have enabled it here but the site is not a publishing site, you will still not see the Page Layouts option in the Navigation pane.
Enable Managing of the Web Site URL Structure Enables or disables the ability to view and edit files in the URL structure of a site. If unchecked, SharePoint Designer does not display the All Files option in the Navigation pane.
You can control the following types of access to SharePoint Designer 2010 at the site collection level:
Enable SharePoint Designer Enable or disable SharePoint Designer 2010 use for an entire application or site collection. If you want to ensure that all designers and owners within a specific site collection can use SharePoint Designer 2010, enable this setting at the site collection level.
Enable Detaching Pages from the Site Definition Enables or disables the ability to detach pages from the site definition. If you want to preserve the branding for all sites in a site collection, you should not allow users to make changes that would result in detaching the page from the site definition.
Enable Customizing Master Pages and Layout Pages Enables or disables the ability to customize master pages and page layouts. If you do not want users to see the master pages and page layouts for a site, you should disable this setting.
Enable Managing of the Web Site URL StructureEnables or disables the ability to view and edit files in the URL structure of a site. If you do not want users to view and edit any file on the site, you should disable this setting. When disabled, SharePoint Designer does not display the All Files option in the Navigation pane.
Besides configuring SharePoint Designer access to a Web application or site collection, users connecting to the site must have the Use Remote Interfaces permission. This permission gives users access to several types of remote interfaces including SharePoint Designer, Web services and the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, or WebDAV, publishing interface.
The Use Remote Interfaces permission is part of all of the default permission levels except LimitedAccess and Restricted Read. Any user assigned any of the other permission levels can connect to the Web site with SharePoint Designer. However, SharePoint Designer still obeys all normal permissions enforced by SharePoint Server. If the user does not have permission to read or change an item in the SharePoint site, they will not be able to do so using SharePoint Designer.
Note: SharePoint Designer is designed to request and use SharePoint permissions that grant the rights of managing and designing at the SharePoint site level. It is not designed to use the granular permissions model such as item-level permissions in lists.