As you may know, SharePoint 2010 uses XSLT templates to render content such as site columns and list views. This gives a lot of power and flexibility in how things are renedered, but XSLT is often viewed as difficult to use. I have found that the hardest parts to grasp are often which template contains the rendering code for my field and how the various templates are nested. This blog post will show you how I use SharePoint Designer to make those two issues more manageable.
Tip: Modifying the XSLT using Visual Studio will require you to re-deploy the solution as well as recycle the application pool for the web application. This can be an annoyance while making many small changes to a column’s rendering. Using SharePoint Designer to work with the XSLT first, you can modify the XSLT within the list view as much as you like in real-time without the need for re-deploying or recycling.