Options for setting a custom Master Page file in WSS 3.0

As you may know, in WSS 3.0, we don’t have the option through the UI to set a custom master page file.  In MOSS 2007, we have this "Master Page" action link that lets us select a different master page then the one initially configured for the site. So what are our options, here are a couple:

Using SharePoint Designer

1. Open your WSS 3.0 Site and Expand the "_catalogs" node then the "masterpage" node.

2. Select your custom master page, then Right Click on it and choose "Set as Default Master Page"



Using Powershell

1. If you haven’t installed and played around with Powershell, I highly recommend doing that as soon as you can. You will have fun 🙂

2. So, you’ve installed Powershell and now you are an expert. With Powershell 2.0 you have the option to use Powershell Integrated Scripting Environment or the ISE. Go ahead and open that. Copy and Paste the following code snippet to set a custom master page file for your WSS 3.0 site



$site = new-object Microsoft.SharePoint.SPSite("<site_url>");

$web = $site.OpenWeb();

$web.MasterUrl = "/_catalogs/masterpage/custom.master";



About jharbieh

I'm an IW Solutions Architect with background in requirements gathering, planning, design, architecture, and development (not necessarily in the right order). Currently, my focus is on the Microsoft Cloud, Productivity and Collaboration space. Hope you enjoy what I write about here. Thanks for visiting. Johnny Harbieh
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2 Responses to Options for setting a custom Master Page file in WSS 3.0

  1. Beth says:

    One of these days I’m going to be a Powershell guru like you. Keep up with the great posts.

  2. Johnny says:

    Well, thank you very much. Not a guru though, just scratching the surface. Eric Kraus is to blame here 🙂 Thanks for the note.

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