Friday, 2 August 2013

SharePoint 2007 - Cannot access "Page Settings" area in Publishing site

Here's an odd thing. I wanted to change the Page template of a SharePoint page that was displaying in an old, outdated template. But when I went Edit Page, then Page > Page Settings ... 

... I wasn't seeing the familiar Page Settings page. I was seeing this:

No sign of my picklist of Page Templates at all. I knew I had encountered this problem before, but couldn't remember what the solution was, so I got on to trusty Google, figuring someone is bound to have the answer to this vexing issue. But no ... nothing doing.

I tried going to the Pages Directory and seeing if Editing Properties of the page would help, but that got me nowhere.

Then, running out of options, I fired up SharePoint Designer and navigated to the sub-site. And there it was! 

The dad-blasted Page Layout was detached, obviously from some earlier Designer fiddling and I'd forgotten to reattach. Simply reattaching the Page Layout fixed the problem and I was able to access the Page Layout picklist in the Page Settings area.

It might seem screamingly obvious but then, you can't always remember everything, and incredibly, no one has posted an explanation for this problem that crops up in the first ten screens of a Google search. 

So hopefully, this will save someone thrashing around, trying to figure out why they can't change the Template for a SharePoint Publishing page.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Place a Picture Library SlideShow on a SharePoint 2007 page

I wanted to embed a Picture Library as a SlideShow in a SharePoint 2007 page, but when I checked the Microsoft web site, their coverage of the SharePoint 2007 Picture Library function didn't have the information I needed. So, I had to figure it out for myself.

So here's what I did to embed a Picture Library SlideShow on the page ...

  1. First, I created a SharePoint Picture Library in the normal way and loaded up the images.
  2. Next, in the newly-created Picture Library, I selected View Slide Show from the Actions menu.

  3. This brings up the Slide Show in a new browser window. I right-clicked on the Slide Show and selected Properties.

  4. I highlighted the URL of the Slide Show and copied to the clipboard with the ctrl-c function.

  5. Then I placed a Page Viewer Web Part on the selected SharePoint page and added the URL from the clipboard. You may have to adjust the height of the Page Viewer Web Part to accommodate the size of image you're using.
That's it ...

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Setting default values for Content Types on creating a new page

While trying to set up a facility in SharePoint to email around summaries of the week's top news stories, I ran into a strange problem.

If you've read my previous post, you'll recall that I had set up a sub-site in SharePoint to hold the news articles - each article was on a new page and the pages incorporated metadata stored in Content Types created for that purpose.

I'd built the pages that way so that the non-technical News publishers would be able to set vital meta-data for each story without having to go the 

Site Actions > View all Site Content > Pages 

route to get to the Edit Properties function.

All that went fairly smoothly - apart from a small glitch around retrieving the current Page URL (see the previous Blog posting) - and we proudly launched our new News facility.

The next glitch came when one of the publishers was compiling the weekly round up of top News stories. I'd made a page containing a DVWP which looked at the Pages folder that contained all the News stories and displayed just those where a value for "weekly roundup email position" had been set. This is a Content Type that contains a choice of values "1st story, 2nd story, etc". The publisher creates a new story, then selects a value for "weekly roundup position" from a pick list. If the story isn't required in the weekly round up then they leave the value as "Select a position for email". The Content Type had the same value set as the default value.

The issue was, when the publisher created a new story, the value for "weekly roundup position" was blank by default. Where was the default value?

Above left is what the metadata setting looked like when a new page was created, but we needed it to look like the above right image, with a default value displayed in the Roundup picklist.

Everything looked like it was set up correctly but it wasn't working ... so had a trawl around on Google and was unable to find anyone else with the same problem. Then I chanced on a site where someone was talking about not seeing default values on Content types. After following a series of links and putting the information together, it became apparent to me what was causing the problem. Turns out you have to make the group of Content Types the Default Content Type Group for the List you're looking at.

So here's what I did ...

I had set up my new Content Types in the Article Page group. So I drilled down to the Content Type and made sure the default value was set to what I wanted.

Next I went back to the List - in this case, the Pages Directory that held the News articles - and from the Settings menu selected Document Library Settings.

Then I found the Content Types section - note that the Page Content Type is set as the default - and clicked on the link Change new button order and default content type.

Now it's not screamingly obvious but what you have to do is bring the Content Type Group that holds the Content Types you want to display the Default Values for up to the top of the list by setting its value to "1", then clicking OK.

That's it. The Content Types section should now look like this, with Articles at the top and ticked as the Default Content Type.

Now when you create a new page, the default values you set in the Content types will be added to the metadata for that page, unless (or until) you choose a different Content Type value.

Hope this helps someone ...

Friday, 12 April 2013

Adding page-specific icons to a SharePoint page

I was building a news function for SharePoint 2007 that is a bit more sophisticated than the OOTB Announcements list. I figured I could make each news story a new page, then use Content Types to hold the metadata for each page that identify the news stories by type (ie, Business, Community, HR), the position they'd appear on on the Home page and whether they were a critical story that needed to be held in a DVWP listing so it wouldn't drop off people's radar.

The reason I wanted to use Content Types (as opposed to simply adding columns to the Pages directory) was I wanted the end-users to be able to set the metadata values on the same page that they would add the headline, summary, body text and picture on.
This arrangement allows the end-users to set
metadata for the news detail page that determines
how the news articles will appear in other web parts
around the site

All this seemed pretty easy ... and I don't want to cover the process here in detail, as you can find how to do this on any number of other sites.

But a problem arose when I had a further requirement to set icons for each news story depending on which company values related to the subject matter of the story.

So I set up a Content Type for the icons ("StrategicLevers") and made it a tickbox choice so the end users could tick a box to make that icon appear on the page.

Next I added a Data View Web Part to the page template that looked at the Pages directory where the news detail pages would be stored, and called the values from the Content Type I'd already set up to hold the values for the icon images.

Then I had to find a way of identifying the current page in the DVWP that would display the correct icons. This at first appeared to be a pretty easy task. I would just use the in-built SharePoint parameter for the page URL called, with customary Microsoft creativity, "PageURL".

So I set a binding up for the PageURL parameter and then called the parameter further down the page, like this:

<ParameterBinding Name="PageURL" Location="Postback;Connection;CAMLVariable/>

in the ParameterBindings section, then added the Parameter further down the page, like this: 

<xsl:param name="PageUrl" />

at the top of the StyleSheet section.

After that, you should be able to use the PageURL Parameter return a value for the current page within the page ... 

In my case I was going to use the parameter to filter out all the values that weren't the current page. So I set up a a test using Choose/When, like this:

<xsl:when test="@FileRef = $PageURL">

What this does is that the DVWP iterates through all the pages in the Pages directory, comparing each page URL with the current page's URL and only displaying when there's a positive match. So far, so good ... except this is the point where I should have checked what value is being returned by this filtering process, perhaps by inserting:

<xsl:value-of select="@StrategicLevers">

to see what value came back. But I didn't. I pressed on and started adding the Choose/When statements that would display the icons according the values set in the StrategicLevers Content Type.

The way I wanted the function to work was that the icon would appear greyed out if the tickbox was unticked and in full effect if the box was ticked. So I did this:

<xsl:when test="contains(@StrategicLevers, 'Solutions')">
<img src="/newsImgs/4_Creative_on.png"/>
<img src="/newsImgs/4_Creative_off.png"/>

for each icon. In this case, "Solutions" is the value of that icon's tickbox. You'd have to change that value for each icon.

Next step, do a test. So I saved the template then opened a news detail page in my browser and ticked a couple of the icon tickboxes, but all the icons remained stubbornly greyed-out.

What followed was two days of frustrating trouble-shooting until I stumbled across a solution.

Even though I could see a value for the PageURL parameter in the Design view of Sharepoint Designer (SPD), the value wasn't displaying in the browser. I couldn't think of any reason why that would be so, but in the end accepted that it was so and started looking for another way to call the value for the current page so I could use it as a filter value.

By blind luck, I found a mention on Marc Anderson's blog about a Server variable that did the same thing.

So I got rid of the PageURL parameter binding and replaced it with this one:

<ParameterBinding Name="PageAddr" Location="ServerVariable(URL)" DefaultValue=""/>

...replaced the parameter further down the page with the new one, like this:

<xsl:param name="PageAddr" />

... and amended the parameter name in the first Choose/When routine:

<xsl:when test="@FileRef = $PageAddr">

Success! This worked fine in the browser, but perversely, didn't work at all in SPD Design view ... I still have no idea why Microsoft thought this was a good idea.