Customising your New Collaborate site on SharePoint

New Collaborate uses the power of SharePoint Communication Sites to offer a range of benefits, including the ability to customise the appearance of your site. For example, you can make changes to your SharePoint site to add your logo and corporate colours. More advanced users can take advantage of Templates and apps to offer additional features, for example, a News feed, or the ability to book appointments online (when used in conjunction with online calendar integrations). 

As this site will be an extension of your practice and be visible to your customers, it's important to ensure the site is consistent with your brand guidelines and offers a smooth experience for your clients. 

For more information on managing your page and Communication sites refer to the following Microsoft 365 Support articles:

Add Recent Documents Home Page Web Part

The "Document Library" web part is necessary so that clients who have only had specific documents shared with them (and not added to the Sharing Settings in FYI) will be able to see a list of documents on the New Collaborate site. This reduces the need for the client to rely on Attachment Links in emails.

As documents are shared with clients using New Collaborate, the document will be added to the list.

Note: If the standard New Collaborate template was applied to your site, the Recent Documents web part was automatically added to your site, and you can skip this step.

  1. From the home page of your New Collaborate SharePoint site, click the Edit link in the top right-hand corner.

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  2. Hover the mouse in the middle of the white space above Comments until you see the line and + button to Add a new web part in column one.

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  3. Click in the search box, type Document, and click on the Document Library option.

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  4. Select Documents.

  5. Hover over the newly added blank section, and click the pencil icon to Edit web part.

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  6. The Document Library drawer will open on the right.

  7. Change the View to "Recent Documents".

  8. Set the Size field to be "Autosize - fit to number of items".

  9. Click Apply and close the drawer.

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  10. Click Republish in the top right-hand corner.

The Recent Documents view will now automatically populate for guest users as documents are shared with them using New Collaborate. 

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Branding

Update your Organisation's theme

Microsoft allows you to manage themes and apply them to different members and groups within your organisation. You can modify the logo, and select the colour scheme to be used. This theme will apply across Microsoft 365, not just your New Collaborate SharePoint site, but will ensure consistent branding across the organisation.

To manage your themes:

  1. Open the Microsoft Admin Center.

  2. Click ... Show all on the sidebar on the left.

  3. Click the Settings arrow to expand the menu and click Org settings.

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  4. Click the Organisation Profile tab and click Custom Themes.

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  5. The drawer will open. You can modify the default theme, or create your own custom theme if required. 

For detailed instructions on managing your theme, refer to Customize the Microsoft 365 theme for your organization.

Accessing the Customisation Settings

Within SharePoint, you can easily customise some of the fundamental elements of the page - the Theme, Header, Footer, and Navigation.

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  1. Click the Settings cog icon in the top-right corner of the window.

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  2. Click Change The Look. The drawer will open.
  3. Update the settings as required - see below for more details.
  4. Click Save to save changes.
  5. Click the left arrow (Back arrow) to return to the main Change The Look menu.

Theme

The Theme allows you to control the colour scheme used on the site. Microsoft offers some default colour themes to select from or alternatively, you can click Customise to select the main and accent colours.

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Header

The Header section can be used to change the layout and appearance of the header, including selecting a background colour (or an image, depending on the layout selected) and your site logo. 

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Navigation

The Navigation of your site is crucial to the experience of your clients. Ensure you have a clear menu, that allows your clients to access their Client folder and documents easily.

The navigation option allows you to define how menus should behave when clicking on a menu item. For example, a Mega Menu will display multiple columns on a single menu (great for when using a menu structure that's 3+ levels) or Cascading (better for simple menus).

Click the toggle Off for "Site navigation visibility" if you want to hide the menu entirely (not recommended).

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To add items to the menu you'll need to click the Edit link at the end of the menu within the site itself.

We recommend you remove Pages and Site Contents from the menu. When editing the navigation, click the three dots (...) and select "Remove".

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Footer

The Footer is found at the bottom of the page. You can control the height, background colour, logo and Display Name (useful for adding additional text e.g. Business Name).

You can disable the Footer entirely by clicking the Enable toggle to be set to "Off".

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