Nick Grattan's Blog

About Microsoft SharePoint, .NET, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

Archive for the ‘SharePoint Power User’ Category

SharePoint 2013 – Links get Promoted!

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SharePoint 2013 now has links that animate when the user moves the mouse over them:

These are implemented by creating a “Promoted Links” list. You can create your own promoted links list:

  • Select Settings + Add an app
  • Click the Promoted Links  app (which is actually a list template):

  • Enter a name for the new list and click Create :

Once the list is created, items can be added to define each of the promoted links:

You can see that the item has a title, a URL for the image, a description showed when the icon is moused over and the target URL. The Prompted List has a “Tiles” view that will display the items in the list using the animated images:

And when moused over the image animates:

Of course, the Tiles view can be displayed in a Web Part that can be included on any ASPX page. So, easy to get a Metro type feel in your applications.

Written by Nick Grattan

July 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Sign in as Different User and SharePoint 2013

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It’s been noted that the “Sign in as a Different User” menu command is missing in SharePoint 2013 (e.g., see

One suggestion for a fix can be found here:

This “Sign in as Different User” menu item is very useful when testing applications, but it can lead to problems especially when opening documents, say in Microsoft Word. So, it may be for these reasons that the option has been removed in SharePoint 2013.

You can add the menu item back in, but I would suggest only doing this on test or development SharePoint servers. To do this, repeat this edit on all servers in your SharePoint farm:

  • Locate the file \15\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\Welcome.ascx and open in a text editor.
  • Add the following element before the existing element with the id of “ID_RequestAccess”:

<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" ID="ID_LoginAsDifferentUser"

  • Save the file.

Now, the menu item shall be displayed:


Update 16-Jul-2013:  As noted by a number authors (and correctly so), modifying files in the hive is not generally good practice. It’s presented here as a quick (and dirty!) solution. Look through the comments against this post for some other solutions that you might want to try too.

Written by Nick Grattan

July 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Chart Web Part: Hiding “Data & Appearance” and “Advanced Properties”

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The “Chart Web Part” shipped with SharePoint 2010 does a reasonable job of displaying graphs. However, when added to a web part page, it displays “Data & Appearance” and “Advanced Properties” links which can be annoying:

The links cannot be hidden through the web part configuration user interface. Instead you need to:

  1. Open the ASPX page in Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.
  2. Locate the Chart Web Part in Code View.
  3. Edit the ShowToolbar property from “True” to “False”.
  4. Save changes.

Now these links will be hidden. You can use the standard drop down web part menu to access them if you need to without re-enabling them:

Written by Nick Grattan

February 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

SharePoint Versions – MOSS v. SharePoint Services

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In this post I explained how to determine if your SharePoint installation is service packed, and to what level. However, the situation is a little more complex since your MOSS 2007 farm will be running Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0 and MOSS on top.

When using Central Administration / Operations / Servers In Farm to report the version number you’re seeing the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 version number. This will be updated when you run the Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) service pack update.

So how do you find which service pack for MOSS you’re running with? One way is to find the version number of the Microsoft.Office.Server assembly from the Windows GAC (Global Assembly Cache). To do this:

  • Run the Windows Explorer.
  • Navigate to \Windows\Assembly.
  • Right-click the file Microsoft.Office.Server and select Properties.
  • Click the Version tab.
  • Take a note of the “File Version”:


Here are the version numbers for the main MOSS services packs using this technique:

Service Pack

WSS Version (Central Admin)

MOSS Version from Microsoft.Office.Server
Unserviced packed 12.0.4518.1014
Service Pack 1 12.0.6211.1000
Service Pack 2 12.0.6420.1000

Version numbers from the Microsoft.Office.Server assembly do not follow exactly those for the WSS reported version number, but there is a close correlation.

Written by Nick Grattan

November 5, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Problem Solved: Amnesia Problem: Multiple Content Types on Libraries

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In this blog post I describe a problem whereby document libraries having multiple content types use the default content type when documents are saved regardless of the selected content type.

Well, thanks to Kevin at Dublin City Council, (that’s Dublin, Ireland) here’s a solution to this problem. It’s all to do with how you define the template for the content type using “Advanced Settings” for a content type:


First, if you “Upload a new document template” the problem described above does not occur. The correct content type will always be selected regardless of how many content types there are associated with the document library. However, your document template is not under version control and becomes more difficult to update using this option.

I normally use the “Enter the URL of an existing document template” and add the URL to a document library containing content type templates (let’s call it “Content Type Templates Library”). That way, if the content type template is updated in this document library the new version will immediately be used. This is the situation where the wrong content type will be selected.

To solve the problem (and this is where Kevin comes in), you need to associate the content types with the “Content Type Templates Library”. The documents representing the content type templates need to have the content type they are being used in. Let me give an example:

Say you’ve got two content types: “CT1” and “CT2” and these use document templates called “DT1.doc” and “DT2.doc” respectively. The documents “DT1.doc” and “DT2.doc” are stored in a document library called “Content Type Templates Library”. Now, you need to associate content types “CT1” and “CT2” with “Content Type Templates Library”. Further, “DT1.doc” must use “CT1” and “DT2.doc” must use “CT2”.

Once this has been setup, the content types “CT1” and “CT2” can be associated with a document library in which users will create documents. Now, new documents created by users will have the correct content type associated with them.

Written by Nick Grattan

October 30, 2009 at 8:27 am

My SharePoint Sites and “Members” Group

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The “My SharePoint Sites” links facility is designed to provide quick and easy access to all sites to which you are member:


This facility is very well described in the blog post Overview of My SharePoint Sites and how the data is populated by Jerry Orman.

Sites in which you are a member are included in the list. What does “member” mean? In the simple case, it means that you belong to the group
designated as the “members” group for the site.

When you create a site and choose unique permissions you can specify a new group for site members. You can also change the “Members of this site” group through “Setup Groups for this Site” or create another members group:

Now, what’s strange is that it is the group “Project N Members” that is deemed to be a “members” group when it is created as a “Members of this Site” group and regardless of how and where it is used in the future.

Therefore, if you use this dialog to select another group that was not created as a “Members of this Site” (say “Project N Visitors”), the site will not appear in the “My SharePoint Sites” list.

Conversely, if you select “Project N Members” as the “Visitors to this Site”, the site will appear in the “My SharePoints Sites” list.

Note that when editing a group you do not get an opportunity to set the “Is Member” flag. However, if you look at the “Groups” table in the content SQL Server database you’ll find a “flags” column. A value of “0” means the group is a “Members” group, and “1” for other groups:

Please note I’m only showing the SQL Server Database table for illustration. Please do not modify the table contents directly.

Written by Nick Grattan

October 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm