When you create a new project without any framework, the default web part content in the code will be added through innerHTML.
Technically there is nothing wrong with this approach, but you might run into a problem when you add more content to the web part afterward using the same method. In this case, the previously added content will be overwritten.

To avoid this behavior, you can use jQuery and the ‘append‘ or ‘prepend‘ methods to add your content. It works well but requires an external library.
Instead of using jQuery, there is a native method in the document object model of HTML available.

Continue reading

Today I decided to publish my table of contents script on github. There it will be much easier to handle all the issues and gives the global SharePoint community the possibilities to contribute to my code.

I know from many people that this script is wide spreader throughout various SharePoint installation. I’m looking forward to improve the code in near future. This table of content script has a real long history for me and I published the first version already for SharePoint 2010. It is still one of my most popular posts.

SharePoint - Table fo Contents


Let me share some statistics with you:

  • SharePoint 2010 – [Enhance Wiki Page Layout by adding a navigational Table of Contents](http://www.n8d.at/blog/enhance-wiki-page-layout-by-adding-a-navgational-table-of-contents/)
    Page Views: 32,016
  • Office 365 / SharePoint 2013 – [Revised: Table of Contents for SharePoint Wiki Pages
    Page Views: 8,002
  • Office 365 / SharePoint 2013 -[How to use: Table of Content – jQuery Plugin](http://www.n8d.at/blog/how-to-use-table-of-content-jquery-plugin/)
    Page Views: 2,289

From now on if you have issues or feature request simply publish them on github. If you like to contribute to this project you are also gladly welcome.

Table of Contents on GitHub

After I’ve published the revised version of my table of contents script I got many request on “How to use” it. You asked for it and here it is the guide how to embed the script. I won’t provide a full featured step by step guide here. Instead, I will provide a small package of a page layout and a guide how to script embed directly. To make this work you need to have an Enterprise Wiki or Publishing page. The first part covers how to add a page layout containing the table of contents script. The second method shows how to add the script using code embedding. You also need to download the following file TableOfContents-PageLayoutPack that contains all the required files.

Continue reading

It’s more then two years ago when I first wrote a table of contents script to enhance wiki pages in SharePoint. Time to release a new version and this time it’s a jQuery plugin. This new version will work potentially work with all versions of SharePoint and Office 365. I just have tested it in SharePoint 2013 and Office 365.
Now I also included support to for all levels of headlines (<h1> – <h6>).
This is possible because a found a good old part in the jQuery Documentation

Table Of Contents - Live in Action

Table Of Contents – Live in Action

Continue reading

Mark Anderson published today an article on his blog concerning an issue that currently exists in Office 365 and is called “Office 365 Update Changes ‘Display Name’ on Required Fields”. In this article he described that the rendering of fields recently have been changed in Office 365. I will take a look what can be done to solve this probably.

The cause of the problem

The title attribute of list fields have been widely use to customise forms in SharePoint using JavaScript, JQuery or SPServices. I used this attribute sometimes too do address fields by the display name. But somehow I always had a bad feeling about this. Why? Well, the ID attribute of the field is the only real unique identifier in the form. The downside using the ID is that you need to have some information about the field to generate the ID. But I will explain this later.
What the update recently in Office 365 did was to change the rendering of the field. Previously it look like this:

Now it has changed to this:

As you see now the title has additional parts such as required or field. This means that you haven’t in this attribute the display name of the field alone and you will fail if you query by title.

Safer approach to request fields

As mentioned before the ID property is the only one that is unique in the whole page. The ID is formatted in the following form:
Field name + ”_” + Guid of the field + ”_$” + Type of the field.
As seen in the previous section the ID looks like this:
So if you like to be absolutely sure and like to generate this ID by yourself you need to do a request to the list and read the fields. The you will be able to find the name by the display name, the id and the type. This will make some lines of code that you can reuse in your projects. I haven’t seen any ready made code yet but I’m sure it can be found somewhere over the internet. (If you have would be great to post that in the comments)
I looked into this problem and what I found was that SharePoint does that job for you and stores it on the form in the JavaScript variable “WPQ2FormCtx”.

Console output of WPQ2FormCtx Object

Console output of WPQ2FormCtx Object

This context is somehow new in SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 This somehow represents the so called form context with a lot of information. Also included in this variable is the list schema which we can use without loading any additional information from the list.
So what I did is that I created a small javascript object that loads the information and allow me to generate the id of the field. The tricky part i currently not have implemented is the type part because this is a little bit tricky and the value changes with the different configurations of the fields. I hope that the following code give you an example how this works.

To this script the last part needs to be added to be 100% sure. Think about the fill in option for example this will start with the same id but I’m sure there will be added a special type.

Field after update via JS

Field after update via JS

As you see the value was written to the form

A Look to the future

I will never use the title field again. I write this now 100 times to keep it in mind. But not here in this blog post. In future I will reuse my little helper object for a simple reason. If Microsoft changes the format of the ID attribute I only need to change it at a central location instead of search and replace all my jQuery / JavaScript code.
Convenience is not everything better go an extra mile to be safe.

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

Love it or hate it, but the rich text editor can be really powerful if you know how to customize. In this article I show you how the well-known SyntaxHighlighter script by Alex Gorbatchev can be added to a wiki page in SharePoint. The idea for this came from a discussion I had with Marc D. Anderson about the Microsoft SharePoint Blog template and how hard it is to format source code in SharePoint in a beautiful way. Well nearly every WordPress blog that provides source code in the posts has a plugin that adds the SyntaxHighlighter to the design. Well here is my integration to SharePoint that consists of the following three components:

  • Wiki Page Layout
  • Rich Text Editor Style
  • Script to embed the SyntaxHighlighter

The wiki page layout

First of all I created a specific wiki page layout to add the functionality of the SyntaxHighlighter. In this page layout I added references to a couple of scripts the SyntaxHighlighter need. I added those inside the content control with the id “PlaceHolderAdditionalPageHead”. This will render the script links to the head section of the master page.

Beside the SyntaxHighlighter I added one style sheet file for the integration to the rich text editor named spSyntaxHighlighter.css and a JavaScript I named spSyntaxHighlighter.js which will be used to render the source code in a proper way and uses JQuery.

Rich Text Editor Styles

To add a format block for the source code I defined for each language a specific rich text editor style. The format block using markup styles looks like this.

What this markup style definition does is to add the <pre> tag to the content of the wiki page. For each language that should be supported I created an own markup style needs. This is required because it tells the SyntaxHighlighter script how to render the source code properly.

Script to embed the SyntaxHighlighter

As mentioned before I decided to use JQuery to execute the syntax highlighter script. Well the base task of my script is to look for the code blocks defined by the markup styles and then reformat those blocks. For an html code block the output of the rich text editor needs to be converted from:

to this

The script below will manage this transformation:

For Internet Explorer I need to break the rendering of the source code inside the pre tag. The internet explorer adds additional breaks to the code. Therefore all html breaks needs to be removed and replaced “\r\n”. If those <br> tag won’t be managed the code will be messed up and the result would be only a single line of code instead of a good looking code block.

SyntaxhHghlighter integrated in SharePoint

Final code integrated in SharePoint


Sometimes it can be a little bit tricky to handle the rich text editor in the right way. For code embedding the best result can be achieved if the style block will be defined in the first step and later the code will be added by using the SharePoint functionality “Paste as plain text”. I recorded a simple video to show you how this works.

At the end you should get the following result.

Finally you can download this sandbox solution from Codeplex “n8d.SyntaxHighlighter”.

My integration of the SyntaxHighlighter supports currently the following languages:

  • VB, C#
  • JavaScript
  • SQL
  • PowerShell

In SharePoint the summary link web part is a great tool to create overviews made of internal and external links. The challenge with this web part is to enhance the presentation when a lot of links will be added to this web part. In this post I will present how to turn this basic web part to an accordion which gives the user a much better experience.

Styling the summary link web part

First of all I created a simple summary link web part and added grouping of those links. As you see the amount of links are not that much but enough that specific links are hard to read and find the belonging groups as well.

summary link web part

summary link web part

To enhance the default style I simply added a content editor web part to the page that contains my new style definition. To improve the group header I simply added a style definition for the CSS class “groupheader”. I also added some styling for the links as well.

The style definitions transform the web part now into a metro styled web part. For the user experience I also added a hover effect using CSS. This allows to highlight the currently selected link.

styled summary link web part

styled summary link web part

Add accordion script

The turn this web part now into a fully functional accordion all that needs to be done is to add a simple Jquery script the performs the following tasks.

  • Hide all hyperlinks in the groups
  • When a user clicks a group header
    • Hide all sections that is not the current header
    • Expand current selected link section

This can be accomplished with the following code.

Now the web part has turned into an accordion with expandable sections, but there is one last step to do. The accordion is currently not editable but this can be fixed with a simple modification of the script.

Make accordion editable again

SharePoint has something called display mode. This display mode indicates how a user has opened a page and can have the following values:

  • Browse – indicates that the user views the page
  • Design – indicates that the user tries to edit the page

Normally this form context or display mode is use is web part development but it could be used and detected using Jquery. SharePoint renders a hidden input field with the id ”MSOSPWebPartManager_DisplayModeName” that will be set to the appropriate value.

For example the field can look like this if the page is opened in browse mode.

To restore the edit function all that needs to be done is to wrap the script and let it only get executed in browse mode.

The last thing I want to show is the accordion live in action.

Download Accordion Content Editor Web Part – SharePoint 2007 / SharePoint 2010