Experience-based tips and ideas for enhancing digital workplaces
Author: Nate Chamberlain
Nate helps people communicate and collaborate better. He shares solutions and ideas on his blog at http://www.NateChamberlain.com and was awarded Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services in recognition of community contributions.
When working in Office 365 or SharePoint and you open a document for editing, you get two choices. Edit in Word (or Excel) or Edit in Browser. Editing in browser is typically a safe route but it doesn’t give you full functionality like the clients will.
The issue I’m discussing here is when a user tries to edit a document from SharePoint using the client (not Edit in Browser) the client opens to a blank, gray background (no document) or doesn’t open at all. This is likely an account conflict in syncing or accessing.
In other cases, the document may open, but as read-only. If that’s the case, it’s likely permissions-related. You might first check the user’s specific permissions in SharePoint. Sometimes because of broken (not inherited) permissions, or partial access to a site, users are able to edit in browser, but not in the client. If this is your situation, it could well be the cause.
Hopefully this is a simple fix for you, but as it’s become clear to me a number of times with this issue it can be quite complicated. I have a couple fixes, though the second is less ideal. If anyone else has run into this and would like to offer their experience, please do so in the comments.
I’m thrilled to have my first external speaking engagement lined up at SPS Omaha. If you’re nearby, be sure to register (it’s free!) and check it out on Saturday, April 22. Here’s what you can expect from me:
Upgrading Your Intranet: Planning and Building a New Intranet in SharePoint
There are a number of advantages to deciding to move your intranet to SharePoint. Automation, organization, incredible search capabilities and user interactivity are just a few of these. We’ll discuss avoiding creating a file dump by rethinking forms, automation capabilities, organizational structures, and permissions. We’ll also touch on proper planning measures such as developing naming conventions and metadata standards to make your intranet more powerful and accessible.
It’s not easy to show a list (or part of a list) from one site collection on another. There are data view web parts you could try in SharePoint Designer, content search queries and page viewers in SharePoint web parts and then some scripting methods you could try, but I, in my enterprise environment, had no luck with those. This method, however, utilizes Microsoft Flow and works flawlessly. Here are a couple great features:
Permissions are completely flexible. Set the “new” list to view only or whatever permissions you like while keeping tight control over the original. People will not be able to access the original list or site collection but they’ll see your up-to-date info you’re wanting to share.
You can set this up so it’s a one-way publishing experience so updates on list 1 show on list 2, but updates on list 2 don’t show on list 1 OR you can set it up two-way so each list will update the other, creating a shared list experience without allowing permissions to access each other’s site collections
The new SharePoint framework has a lot to offer in the way of development possibilities and user-friendliness. Creating a page using their new default page experience seen above is much more intuitive, inherently mobile-friendly and easy to whip together some decent-looking dynamic content in just a few clicks. But this new experience doesn’t allow for adding web parts like you may be used to. And customizing layouts isn’t as accessible as it once was. The following few steps will allow you to create a page that utilizes familiar layouts (columns and sidebars) and web parts.
So you want your viewers to know the last time data was refreshed or updated in your SharePoint list without having the list’s default “modified” column repeating the same date hundreds of times and taking up horizontal space.
There are a number of solutions out there to show the date a list was last modified using code. This solution provides an option best used with lists you bulk update, or copy and paste to replace all data regularly, but requires no coding. It basically pulls out the “last modified” date of your first list item and displays it at the top as seen above. This solution is not for you if you are updating only specific items within a list.
Depending on your organizational setup, this message may be misleading. For me, this message is prompted when I change my password used to sign in to Office 365. My version of SharePoint Designer (SPD) is not, in fact, out of date at all. My organization regularly requires password changes so these steps get me back and running with SPD in less than a minute:
After opening SPD, go to “Accounts” in the left hand menu
Under “connected services” remove connections for whatever could be causing the issue
Click “add a service,” then “storage,” then “Office 365 SharePoint”
Login with your new credentials. This should also link any OneDrive for Business account associated with your O365 account
If a password change isn’t what prompted your issue, try going to “Account” then “Switch Account” to make sure it’s attempting to connect to the correct account.
When doing an if/then statement within SharePoint Designer involving a people column, our only options are “equals” or “not equals.” If you want to be able to use “is empty,” “is not empty,” “contains,” etc. this article will show you how to get around this limitation without any scripting. We’ll basically be creating a workflow variable to use in place of the original column.
If you’ve turned on versioning for a document library and are using both major and minor versions, you could end up with hundreds of minor versions not visible to individuals with view or read-only permissions. Saving major versions of each could take a while individually, but luckily there’s a way to do all of them at once.
Go to site settings
Under “Site Administration” go to “Content and Structure”
Click on the name of the document library you wish you work on
Change “Show: 100” to include all of your documents so you don’t have to do this multiple times. You can also change the view to any one of your views in the document library (or all documents as seen below).
Select the Select All icon () and then under “Actions” select “publish.” A pop-up window will you give you the opportunity to enter a comment as to why these documents are being published, then click “ok.”
If you’ve created a dashboard and have multiple list view web parts that you’ve connected to one another so that they share parameters or filters, then you may be familiar with this default double arrow icon:
You may have even found it to be located at _layouts/images/rbunsel.gif or _layouts/images/rbsel.gif (depending on whether it’s the “selected” or “unselected” icon).
And now you’re ready to replace it with something a little more fashionable. I recommend installing an icon package (free) on your site so that you can use icons from the set throughout your site to continue customizing various out of the box, and quite ordinary, icons. In this post, we’ll use FontAwesome. Check out their amazing set of icons at http://fontawesome.io/icons/ and even try searching for “open” or “expand” to see some good alternatives to the less-than-perfect double arrow default. For this example, let’s use fa-search-plus.
Large lists carry with them a number of challenges, one being the ease of keeping everything straight when you’re thirty scrolls deep into a page. Sticky/floating headers are an excellent addition to your SharePoint lists that keep your headers at the top of your columns no matter where you’re at in the list for ease of viewing. This solution uses a script created by Daniel Stölzner of spoodoo.com and I’ve added a reference to jquery to simplify steps for those of you without jquery built into your master page.