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Article: Customize a SharePoint Login Page

Go beyond the complexities of working with SharePoint, and discover how to create a custom login page that you can associate with unique code.

Working with SharePoint can get complicated. Even seemingly basic tasks are wrapped up in so many layers of automation and support that it can be hard to sort out what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Trying to determine how to change the login page in SharePoint is no exception. For this reason you’ll discover how you can modify an out-of-the-box login page to build your own, which you can customize as you desire—including associating it with custom code.

Help Your SharePoint User

To be able to even see the login form you’ll need to turn on forms-based authentication. There are several good resources that address turning on this feature, including Steve Peschka’s post on the “SharePoint Products and Technologies Team Blog” and Andrew Connell’s blog post, “HOWTO: Configure a MOSS 2007 Publishing Site with Dual Authentication Providers and Anonymous Access.” These articles walk you through all of the details necessary to learn how to set up the secondary authentication (membership) providers and how to make them accessible. However, neither resource touches on how to modify the login page itself.

Layouts and Login
The out-of-the-box login page lives on the server as _layouts/login.aspx or on the file system in \Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS. This location makes the page an application page—one that lives outside of any single SharePoint site. This setup is both good and bad. It’s good in that it works no matter what the site is or how the site has been provisioned. It’s bad in that it doesn’t use the same process for modifying a page that a regular SharePoint site page may use.

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