Farm Documentation

This article describes how to produce SharePoint farm documentation using SPDocKit.

Generate Documentation

This section describes how you can generate SharePoint farm documentation using SPDocKit.

  1. Use the Take Snapshot button to load local SharePoint farm settings, or choose to Open existing farm snapshot. You can view all of your snapshots if you navigate to the Backstage Actions Screen and click the View Snapshots button or if you go directly to the Snapshots tab.

  2. Click Generate from the left-side navigation pane and select the format in which you wish to create your farm documentation. The available formats are .doc, .pdf and .xlsx.

  3. The farm settings you want to export can be selected from the drop-down options.

    In the Generate Documentation window, you will be able to select which farm settings reports you wish to include in your Farm Documentation by checking the boxes in the drop-down menu. This selection you make can be saved and used as a template for generating documentation in the future. SPDocKit also comes with a set of predefined documentation templates, with commonly used options already pre-selected. The documentation templates by default are: All, Full Documentation (without Site Explorer), Regular Documentation and Simple Documentation.

    There is a possibility that there will be a large amount of data contained in Site Explorer reports, so we added a template called Full Documentation without Site Explorer. If you want to export all Site Explorer information, please note that the active snapshot will need to be saved in the SPDocKit database.

  4. The Document Outline tab displays how the table of contents of your document will look.

  5. With the Options tab you can choose whether Passwords and Product Keys will be displayed in the generated document. If these were not defined, the check box will be disabled.

  6. Click the Generate button, wait a few moments and your SharePoint farm documentation will be generated!

Customize Documentation Template

Quick guide

To prepare a template for your documentation, you need to prepare a Word document template and customize Word styles. SPDocKit uses Word styles to generate customized output to match your corporate branding.

  1. Create a custom Word document template (.dotx). You can also use an existing template instead of starting from scratch.

    We recommend you use the Medium Shading 1 – Accent 1 table style with this template. Customize the following styles to match your corporate branding: Heading1, Heading2, Heading3, Heading4, Normal, and Hyperlink (you can make any changes required as long as these changes are performed over the style itself).

  2. Customize the table styles to match your branding.

  3. Customize headers and footers to add your company name, page numbers, etc.

  4. Customize the front page.

  5. Remove extra content except for the custom front page (or first few pages) that you wish to be included in every document.

  6. Start SPDocKit.

  7. In the Home ribbon, click Change Styles.

  8. Select Upload a Custom Template. Click Next to continue.

  9. Browse your Word template (.dotx) and choose the table style you want to use when generating tables (we recommend you use Medium Shading 1 – Accent 1 with our template).

  10. Click Finish to save.

Customizing styles

SPDocKit uses the following default Word styles to generate documentation:

  • Heading1, Heading2, Heading3 and Heading4 – used to generate section headings.

  • Normal – used to generate paragraph text.

  • Hyperlink – used for hyperlinks.

SPDocKit styles need to be customized to match your corporate or other desired branding. To modify a Style in Microsoft Word do the following:

  1. From the Styles ribbon right-click the style you want to customize.

  2. From the context menu choose Modify.

  3. A new dialog will open. Use it to make the desired changes (font, size, etc.)

You can read more about style basics in Word here.

Customizing Table Styles

To brand tables used in SharePoint farm documentation, you need to customize one of the built-in table styles. We currently support these styles:

  • Table Grid

  • Light Shading

  • Light Shading – Accent 1

  • Light Shading – Accent 3

  • Light Shading – Accent 4

  • Light Shading – Accent 5

  • Medium Shading 1 – Accent 1

  • Medium Shading 1 – Accent 4

  • Medium Shading 1 – Accent 5

  • Light Grid – Accent 6

  • Medium Grid 1 – Accent 4

  • Medium Grid 1 – Accent 5

  • Medium List 2 – Accent 1

  • Medium Grid 2 – Accent 2

  • Medium Grid 2 – Accent 3

To customize the table style do the following:

  1. Insert a table into the template document. (the table will be removed in the last step)

  2. From the Table Tools contextual ribbon, expand Table Styles.

  3. Right-click the style you want to change and choose Modify Table Style.

  4. Make the changes to the table style to match your desired branding. Pay special attention to the formatting of the whole table, header row, odd and even banded rows.

  5. Remove the table you inserted in step 1.

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