How to create a SharePoint visual site map using Smart Art and SharePoint Designer

Those of know me know that I live by ‘a picture is worth a 1000 words’.  That said, my experience has been that if we provide a visual site map (diagram of sites/webs in your collection), folks appreciate it and understand where data should go.

An example:


Here’s how it’s done

video  First off, watch it live with a video: Video Link


And here are the steps

Step 1: Create a SmartArt graphic to use as the base image.

For example, go to Word, select Insert/SmartArt/Hierarchy/Organization Chart/ and add the relevant headings and sub-headings.

Step 2: Convert the SmartArt design to a .PNG graphic

Right-click the design and choose copy, then choose Paste Special, from the Paste dropdown menu, and select Picture (PNG).

Step 3: Save the .PNG graphic to disk

Right-click the .PNG graphic in Word, choose “Save as picture”, and save the file to a temporary location, perhaps calling it “imagemap.png”

Step 4: Create a web part pages document library in your site

In SharePoint, choose Site Actions and then New Document Library. Type in a Name, such as “WebPartPages”, and the important step is to change the Document Template setting from ‘Microsoft Word document’ to ‘Web Part page’. Click Create.

Step 5: Create the site map page

Go to the new WebPartPages document library, and from the ribbon, select ‘New Document’ from the Library Tools/Documents menu.

Type in a page name such as sitemap.aspx and choose a layout template, perhaps ‘Header, Footer, 4 Columns, Top Row’ to allow for future expansion. Click Create.

In one of the available regions, click ‘Add a Web Part’, go to the Media and Content sub-category, and choose the Content Editor web part. Click where it says ‘Click here to add new content’, and under the Editing Tools/Insert menu, choose Picture. Browse to the imagemap.png created earlier, and click ok. Choose Page/Stop Editing to finish updating the sitemap page.

Step 6: Edit the sitemap in Designer

Choose Site Actions/Edit in SharePoint Designer, and navigate to All Files/WebPartPages/ and edit sitemap.aspx. Click on the imagemap, and then in the Picture Tools/Format menu, create as many hotspots as needed using the Polygonal, Horizontal and Circular hotspot tools.

For each hotspot, define the relevant area on the imagemap, and then either navigate to the destination page, or enter the URL in the address bar. It is also possible to adjust the target frame, if destination links should open in new browse windows etc.

To remove the border around the whole graphic, click the sitemap image, select Properties from the Picture Tools/Format menu, and set border thickness to zero on the Appearance tab.

Save the file. Finished!

4 responses to “How to create a SharePoint visual site map using Smart Art and SharePoint Designer

  1. I’ve been searching for a solution like this two years ago since the Office 2007.  Thanks a lot

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