Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 is useful for programmers who are editing SharePoint.   already. It’s not for end users, readers or even site authors. It’s for folks who are managing the sites and creating workflows, branding and more.

The best people to use this application are site administrators, power users, and developers. Once you start using SharePoint Designer 2010, you find out how much time you have saved by not having to enter code directly all the time.

Not just for Design
The Designer word in the product name confuses people who first hear about it. People thing that it must be for people who create branding or web styles in SharePoint. Yes SharePoint Designer lets you create and apply CSS and HTML to your SharePoint sites, edit or create new Master Pages, page layouts and site templates, this is not all it does.

We use SharePoint Designer in many ways for example:

  • Create solutions using functionality using the Data View Web Part,
  • Use Workflow designer to generate approval workflows for example
  • Change around Web Part zones
  • Create page layouts
  • Generate External Content Types
  • Create Business Connectivity Services to hook in to other databases and systems

SharePoint Designer 2010 is…free!
Microsoft decided to make SharePoint Designer 2010 free so that all developers could customise and extend SharePoint to a huge reach. Besides using Visual Studio, which is more for hardcore .Net development and not specifically for SharePoint, SharePoint Designer offers a lot to developers. From creating BCS connections to generating workflows, reviewing content, creating master pages, page layouts and site templates – SharePoint Designer 2010 gives you all this and more.

So if you have access to SharePoint 2010, and would like to dig deeper and use more indepth tools and functionality, start learning about SharePoint Designer 2010. It also has a user interface for you to drag and drop to, unlike SharePoint 2013 which only provides a code view.