Microsoft SharePoint Designer (SPD), formerly known as Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer, is a specialized HTML editor and web designfreeware for creating or modifying Microsoft SharePoint sites, workflows and web pages. It is a part of Microsoft SharePoint family of products. It was formerly a part of Microsoft Office 2007 family, but has never been included in any of the Microsoft Office suites.
SharePoint Designer and its sister product, Microsoft Expression Web are successors of Microsoft FrontPage. While Expression Web serves as the full-featured successor to FrontPage, SharePoint Designer focuses on designing and customizing Microsoft SharePoint websites. For instance, it only includes SharePoint-specific site templates. The first version, SharePoint Designer 2007, retains more FrontPage features than Expression Web (such as web components, database, marquee, hit counter, navigation bars and map insert.) SharePoint Designer 2007 was initially a commercial software product. On March 31, 2009, however, SharePoint Designer 2007 was made available as a freeware.
On April 24, 2009, Microsoft released SharePoint Designer 2007 Service Pack 2. On April 21, 2010, SharePoint Designer 2010 was released and made available for download. On October 24, 2011, Microsoft released SharePoint Designer 2007 Service Pack 3.
SharePoint Designer shares its codebase, UI and HTML rendering engine with Expression Web, and does not rely on Internet Explorer's Trident engine. It features a workflow designer that allows users of SharePoint to create workflow so that workflow can automate the process with the concept and objects such as list item, content type, and list column within SharePoint server. Starting from SharePoint 2013, it provides text-based designer and visual designer for non-developer users.
^Hoover, Kolby (November 2, 2009). "SharePoint Designer 2010 New Shell Tour". Microsoft SharePoint Designer Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved January 27, 2013. A Few Limitations to Call Out [~snip~] As we shifted to being a powerful and usable toolset for SharePoint 2010, we securely attached to SharePoint. In other words, SPD focused at being only a SharePoint tool. Unfortunate for some, this means that you won’t be able to use its page editor without also having SharePoint. The page editor is only available when a SharePoint site is open.
^Mauceri, Rob (April 16, 2007). "Office Live and SharePoint". Microsoft SharePoint Designer Team Blog. Microsoft. Retrieved January 27, 2013. SharePoint Designer doesn't use Trident. SharePoint Designer, Expression Web, and the next version of Visual Studio's Visual Web Designer (code name Orcas) all use the same standards-based web design component. This component was developed jointly by the three product teams for high fidelity rendering of web standards like CSS, XHTML, as well as ASP.net.