Set multiple choices as default values for checkbox fields in SharePoint forms

default checks

I recently worked on a project for a client that needed 2/3 checkbox options checked by default on a new form. While not as straight-forward as other field types, it’s still certainly possible.

  1. Go to List –> List Settings (server/on-prem) or settings wheel –> List Settings (online/O365)
    list settings
    list settings o365
  2. Click the name of your checkbox/choice column to edit its settings or create a new checkbox column
    iexplore_2018-07-26_07-53-51
  3. Change “Default value:” from “Choice” to “Calculated Value”
    iexplore_2018-07-26_07-52-49
  4. Enter a formula like: =”;#Choice;#Choice;#Choice;#”
    Example:
    =”;#Printed Statement;#E-Statement;#Pick Up in Office;#”
  5. Click OK

That’s it! Now on new forms/items, everything you entered in the formula as a default choice will be pre-checked.
pre-checked

Replace SharePoint attachment paperclip icons with actual hyperlinked attachment names in list views

You can attach documents to SharePoint list items. However if you add the “Attachments” column to your list views, you get a column that only shows a paperclip icon (see below) if there are any attachments. Clicking that paperclip also won’t open any attachment or the list item to view them. It’s strictly an image.

attachment paperclip

Here’s how you can replace that paperclip on each row with the actual name(s) of your attachment(s) linked to the actual attachment(s).

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Solution: “We’re sorry. We can’t open {file} because we found a problem with its contents.”

When using SharePoint Designer workflows to automatically create documents from a template you might run into an error message:

“We’re sorry. We can’t open {file} because we found a problem with its contents.”

document contents error

Or if you’re just opening it within the browser web app instead of the Word client, you might have seen:

“Sorry, Word Online ran into a problem opening this document. To view this document, please open it in Microsoft Word.”

But if you do open it in Word you then get the first error message. Luckily it’s a simple fix.

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Customize styles/formatting of SharePoint list column header rows

Note: This post applies to on-premise/server lists or O365 lists set to “classic” view. This will not work on modern views.

A little style on column header rows goes a long way. For example, just a background color and font adjustment can take your list from:

Before:

headerwithoutstyle

to
After:

headerstyle

Here’s how you can apply your own styles to your list(s).

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Automatically open SharePoint 2013 workflow tasks in Edit mode for easy one-click approvals

one-click approval

On one of my recent projects, a client asked if it would be possible for the link to a task within a workflow notification email to open the task in “edit” mode instead of “display”. If you’re unfamiliar with SharePoint 2013 task processes built in SharePoint Designer, here’s what their process looked like prior to our change:

  1. Someone submits form
  2. Approval request sent to manager
  3. Manager clicks link in email to open task
  4. Manager clicks “Edit”
  5. Manager clicks “Approve”

They wanted to eliminate step 4 to make the process as easy as possible (one-click after opening link in email). Here’s what we ended up doing:

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The “Edit” icon column: a SharePoint essential for all lists and libraries

Asset 2edit

Yesterday in a SharePoint 200 session I gave at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, I shared one of my favorite SharePoint “nuggets” which is the “Edit” icon available out-of-the-box, and easily added by any level of user in just 4-5 steps.

This edit icon column can be added to any list or library view in SharePoint and allows you one-click access to edit the properties of a document or edit a list item or form. In addition to that it’s security-trimmed, meaning only people who have edit/contribute permissions will actually see the icon at all. Everyone else will only see an empty column.

To add the column, you must have the ability to create or modify views and list settings.

Note this is only available in classic view lists and libraries. In the O365/Modern experience you can simply select an item, click “Edit” and the right edit pane appears to allow a similar experience.

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Rearrange OneNote 2016 so pages pane and sections are visible on left

ONENOTE_2018-07-06_12-04-26

This post illustrates how you can accomplish adding sections to the left pane, and moving the pages pane from the right-hand side to the left as seen above.

Move Sections from Top to Left

In a recent training session, I was asked if it were possible to move sections from the top to the left in OneNote. The answer is “sort of”. We can get sections on the left also, but we can’t get rid of them from the top. There are two ways to accomplish this:

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How to make a floating “attachments” block for SharePoint forms

2018-07-03_15-44-13

I recently developed the above solution for a project requiring attachments at multiple points throughout the form. Originally I considered just placing a static “attachment button” in multiple places, but I came up with this and liked it better.

So if you also have long forms for your SharePoint lists, and you would like an easier way for end users to add attachments to list items, ditch the out-of-the-box ribbon menu attachment button and try this “floating attachment box” solution instead.

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How to remove the extra “Save” and “Cancel” buttons in a custom new item form in SharePoint

save cancelWhen you create a custom new item form in SharePoint Designer, you get a bonus set of “Save” and “Cancel” buttons automatically generated. One set at the top, and one set at the bottom (as generally seen on default forms).

Chances are if you’ve created a custom new item form, you had other intentions for the space now taken by duplicate buttons. Here’s how to get rid of the spare buttons and get back to designing and tweaking your custom new item form.

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