The Layout of SharePoint 2013

The Layout of SharePoint in Office365

For a first-time user, it is overwhelming.  You’re bombarded with links, pictures, icons that scream “Look at me, look at me!” and it seems that there are a thousand things going on.  Don’t let it phase you!  Lets break it down right now.

Starting at the top you’ll see a bar running along the top of your screen.  It will look something like this.

That “waffle” icon on the left is your App Launcher.  Click that to reveal all of your available apps.


The App Launcher

You’ll see a list of app icons.  Here’s a breakdown of what they do:

The good news is that (in most cases) this app launcher will be at the top of every page and site you go within the Office365 environment.  We’ll now take a minute and go over the major players on this list.

  • OutlookThis is your outlook (email)  mailbox web access link.  You can click this and get instant access to your email.  This link only appears when your company has Office 365 as their SharePoint provider.  Chances are, if you don’t see it, that means you have access to your email through another means.  The good news is, regardless of what kind of SharePoint you have, you’ll be able to get your email through Outlook or a similar email program.
  • OneDriveOneDrive is basically your documents store in the Office365 cloud.  If you have the app installed, you’ll have a link within your windows file explorer, as well as have the option to save your files within the desktop version of the Office suite (Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc.) This is an extremely valuable and crucial tool that I reccommend EVERYONE use.  Using OneDrive, rather than your desktop or a flash drive allows you to access your files anywhere you have an internet connection from the office portal.  You can also share direct links out with others, granting them the ability to view and even edit them.  If you ever lose your computer or get a new one, you can simply open OneDrive, and all of your files will be there.
  • TeamsTeams is a newer feature of Office365 that allows threaded communication between team members.  Mostly anyone can create a team, which comes with it’s own discussion-style forum.  As you type you can mention other users with @Username, which will send them an email message and Teams alert. This is a pretty powerful tool that you’ll most likely find extremely useful.

  • The Alert BellClick on the bell to show alerts from Office365.  This will show you all of your latest notifications including meetings, reminders, email, and more.

The Gear Menu

The gear menu is a list of actions that pertain to the current site and, if applicable, the app you’re currently viewing.  We’ll go over each of the actions below, as well as further in-depth in other posts.

  • Office365 Settings
    • This link takes you to a page with information on you subscription and other information regarding Office365.
  • Add A Page
    • This creates a page and takes you into the SharePoint page design view.  We’ll go through that in a later post!
  • Add an app
    • This brings up a page that lets you choose an app to add to SharePoint.  Apps are things like document libraries, lists, calendars and more.
  • Site Contents
    • Takes you to a page showing all apps and subsites within the SharePoint site you’re currently viewing.
  • Library/List Settings
    • If you’re on an app when clicking the gear menu– whether a document library or list, you’ll see this link which will take you to the settings page for the app.
  • Getting Started
    • Shows tips and useful info on working within SharePoint
  • Site information
    • Displays details and information about the current site
  • Site Permissions
    • Displays the permissions for the current site, with an option to share the site with another user.


  • [Your User Name]

    This link will give you three options.

    • My Profile
      This is your personal profile, you can modify the info on it so that others in your company can see what you do, what you’re knowledgeable about, and other things.  This is part of SharePoint’s social features.
    • My Account
      This link takes you to the sames place as Office 365 settings in the Gear menu.
    • Sign Out
      This signs you out of Office365 entirely.

That’s the top link bar.  Not much to it right?!