While working with an internally customized SharePoint site, one of the common pain points was that one of the previous admins would remove from the default form various admin only items because she didn’t want them visible to the normal users. Her method achieved that goal but required that an alernate method was created for the users that were supposed to have access to those features and that wasn’t always done and even when it was most users were confused about how to use it since it deviated from what they were familier from other parts of SharePoint.
In researching the issue to make some of my own customizations, I came across this blog posting over at the WSSDemo blog which explained how to use conditional formating to hide elements of the page based on the current user’s access. Since in this case each of the Admins had a right that the normal users didn’t it made it simple to filter the portions of the page condtionally so that the site appeared normal for the admin users but would hide the undesired admin elements from the regular users.
While the reality is that any user that knows the direct URL to the hidden features could still access them, their access is still controlled by SharePoint so that they are only allowed what they are given permissions to do, but it’s useful for hiding the “View All Site Content” link to prevent users from trying to modify lists that they wouldn’t otherwise even notice.