Nick Grattan's Blog

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

Posts Tagged ‘PowerUser

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

Logging in as a different user

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When using default.master in SharePoint users have the “Sign in as Different User” menu option on the “Welcome” menu to login as a different user. This is useful when testing security etc.

This menu is often removed when customizing sites – clients we find often do not want these options displayed. So how can you add a link to allow this facility for testing?

The “Sign in as Different User” navigates to the /_layouts/AccessDenied.aspx page, which displays thus:


You’ll notice the link “Sign in as a different user”. From the browser status bar you can find the target of this link:


So, it turns out to login as another user you simply need to navigate to:


The standard browser username/password dialog box will be displayed without the “Access Denied” page being displayed to the user.




Written by Nick Grattan

December 3, 2008 at 1:11 pm

Posted in SharePoint Power User

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Changing Order / Hiding Columns in New / Edit Forms

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The default order of columns in New/Edit forms for lists and document libraries is typically the order they are added. In many cases you may want to change this order, or to remove columns from these forms.

Changing the column order is easy but the method depends on whether you have selected “Allow management of content types” for the list. See below if you have this option selected, otherwise you can:

  1. Open the list and select Settings + List Settings
  2. Select the “Column ordering” link under “Columns”.
  3. Use the “Change Field Order” form to change the order of columns.


You can only hide columns if “Allow management of content types” is selected! So, to hide, for example, the “Title” column you can:

  1. Open the list and select Settings + List Settings
  2. Select Advanced settings
  3. Click Yes for “Allow management of content types” and then click OK.
  4. From the list of content types, select the content type the column appears in, e.g. “Item”.
  5. From the list of columns for the selected content type, select the column (e.g. Title).
  6. Select Hidden and click OK.


Even if you have a single content type, selecting the “Allow management of content types” option does no harm, so this should work in all cases.

Note that when displaying the content type there is a “Column Order” link under the list of columns which can be used to change the order of columns.

In this example, “Title” is a required field, but you can still hide it. The form will allow the item to be created or updated even though a value has not been supplied.

Written by Nick Grattan

December 2, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Posted in SharePoint Power User

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