Let’s jump right into the topic how it is possible to pass data to a modal dialog. On first sight it looks like a complex task but after you read this article you will get an overview how it works. In this simple scenario I use a HTML Form web part with a text box and a hyperlink. The value then should be passed to the new form dialog of a custom list called “Cars”.

Opening the modal dialog

In general there are two ways to open a modal dialog.  The asynchronous and the synchronous way to open a modal dialog, but here I use the synchronous way to keep the code simple.

The setup for this scenario is simple. First I created a custom list named “Cars” and this list has nothing more than the default title field. After that I added a new HTML Form Web Part to the landing page of my demo site. Then I added a simple form to the web part. It consists of a textbox with the id “newcar” and a hyperlink with the id “create” to create a new entry. This form also loads JQuery from the CDN and the custom script that is needed to pass the value of the input field to the modal dialog.

html form web part

HTML Form web part that should pass the values to the modal dialog

The code of the form looks like this:


First the click event on the hyperlink needs to be registered to open a modal dialog. Then the data from the textbox needs to be passed to the title field of the modal dialog.

So far so good this all no rocket science but how do we get the data to the form? Therefor a little trick is needed. The function “SP.UI.ModalDialog.get_childDialog()” will return the last loaded modal dialog. The modal dialog object returned by this function has a special property named $c_0. Once the dialog has been loaded it contains the content of the modal dialog. All that needs to be done is to recheck this property during the loading of the dialog. This can be accomplished with a simple recursive call that pauses for 100 milliseconds, in my case, and check the property again. If this is set then the loading has been completed.

After the content has been loaded all that needs to be done is to parse the property to a JQuery object. Once it is accessible in JQuery the value of the form web part input field can be added to the title field of the new form. The result can be seen in the following screenshot.

modal dialog after the values have been passed

Modal dialog after the values have been passed to the modal dialog

Further user experience enhancement

A nice additional feature when data will be passed to a modal dialog is to tell the user to check the values. This can be done using the page status bar for example. The problem here is that the status bar cannot be enabled with the SharePoint function SP.UI.Status.addStatus.

Previously we already loaded the content to a JQuery object, so we can do further manipulation of the output of the modal dialog. SharePoint renders on default a placeholder for that page status with the id “#pageStatusBar”. The code to show the page status looks like this:

At the end I forced the modal dialog to resize itself to avoid possible scrollbars.

Modal dialog with page status

Modal dialog with page status

If you have any suggestions or question please feel free to provide some feedback. As always you can download the html form web part in the link below.

Download the web part: Modal dialog part 1

Please make sure to change the path of the new form

You might know this situation, when you like, for example, pass a query string to a modal dialog to preselect values in a list form. With SharePoint Designer or custom development this is an easy task. What if you like to customize the form without permanently modifying the form itself?

In this post series I will show my newly discovered way to have better control over forms.

How come? Well over the last week I had the request once again, to pre-fill a list form with values from another list. So I was thinking to myself that there must be a better ways to do this task. Lucky me I found one.

In the next posts I will first introduce you to the basic concept of this kind of customization.

The series is planned to contain the parts:

In all these parts the customisations will be done using JavaScript / JQuery and our best friend SP Services, when it comes to SharePoint customization. In all those part I leave the form dialogs untouched. No additional web part on the forms will be used.

Hope you enjoy this series and maybe I will add some additional chapters at the end.