Disabling Themes on Custom Master Pages 8

Ran into an interesting problem where I wanted my custom master page to NOT show my theme. I only wanted the theme to show on the _layouts pages and anywhere else not styled by my custom master page. You would think this would be as easy as simple removing this line from the master page: The problem I ran into was even with this line removed, SharePoint would still show my theme on the custom master page after I applied it. Turns out SharePoint adds this line to your code:

Turning on Detailed Error Messages in SharePoint 2007 1

This post is not really that novel but I link to other peoples blogs for this topic constantly, so I might as well make my own post with this information: When customizing SharePoint its fairly easy to make an error or omit something… if and when you do, an out-of-the-box SharePoint site will simply respond by displaying a page that says “An unexpected error has occurred”. I don’t need to tell anyone that this is less than helpful when you are trying to debug something (though it makes total sense for a default setting from a security and usability point of view). In order to see detailed error messages you need to make some very simple changes to the web.config file located on the server that hosts your SharePoint site. Here are the steps: Login to the Windows server that hosts your SharePoint site and navigate to the website root folder (typically a subdirectory of ...

Quick Hack: Show Which Web Front End is Being Browsed

Had a request yesterday from a customer that needed a quick and dirty way for their admins to tell which Web Front End server was being currently browsed in their multi-server farm. While we probably should have made a special custom control that read a local file or something… they opted instead to just make a simple change to the application.master (after making a backup of course). I’m not a huge fan of editing application.master, but in this instance the change is very minimal. We added a string like “Web Server 1 > ” before the global navigation placeholder, like this: Web Server 1 > This basically changes the global breadcrumbs to now look like: Web Server 1 > Site Name > Subsite Name

Master Page Error: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and apply it.” 2

Ran across this one recently and was surprised by SharePoint’s behaviour. If you create your own custom master page and apply it to a parent Publishing site and have all your subsites set to inherit the custom master page, all will seem fine. Then if you create a new Team based subsite off of your Publishing parent site, you will notice that it does NOT inherit your custom master page and instead uses default.master. If you then go to the master page setting screen for the subsite you will see this message: “The site master page setting currently applied to this site is invalid. Please select a new master page and applyit.” This is beyond frustrating if you have a site that needs many subsites with the same branding. Luckily you can manually correct the problem by creating all your subsites and THEN going back to the master page settings screen and set all the ...

Minimal Meeting Workspace Master Page 3

I had to do some customization work with the Meeting Workspace today so I decided to pull my best Heather Solomon impersonation by releasing a “Minimal Meeting Workspace master page”. It is very much based on Heather’s minimal collaboration master page with my own twist on tabbing and comments, and of course the required pieces to work with the Meeting Workspace. This is very much an early alpha as its only been tested in my VM so far. So if you use it, please shoot me an email or comment (whether it worked or didn’t!). Grab my Minimal Meeting Workspace master page FYI – Customizing the Meeting Workspace can be challenging, see both Heather and Eric Shupp’s articles on the topic, they cover all of the nasty details so why re-hash them here: Meeting Workspace Master Page Woes – Heather Solomon Creating a Custom Meeting Workspace Site Definition – Eric Shupps Also, if you aren’t ...

New Article: Automated SharePoint Site Branding

My good buddy Ted Pattison just published an article with the MSDN Magazine entitled “Automated SharePoint Site Branding”. He discusses many different ways to programmatically activate SharePoint branding such as master pages, images, alternate CSS and more. He even discusses switching out the application master pages as well. Automated SharePoint Site Branding

Common Theme Problem: “Write Error on file _themes\” 5

When placing custom SharePoint themes into the 12 folder, sometimes you may run into this error when you try to select your new theme: “Write Error on file _themes\“ Typically, this error happens when you are making changes to a theme and decide to make backups of some of your images by doing a simple file copy and paste. I’m not exactly sure what about this process causes the error, but simply moving the copied files to the desktop (or somewhere other then the theme folder) should correct the problem. Be sure to perform another IISRESET before re-selecting the theme.

Favicon’s in a SharePoint Master Page

My buddy John Ross had asked me if I knew anything about adding Favicons to SharePoint branding, so this post is for him. He pointed me to this post on MindSharp Blogs. This method didn’t work for him when he tried it so was wondering how I did one for a project we worked on. I think the method in that post technically should work as IIS will pickup favicons that are in your IIS root, but I think SharePoint may be blocking access in some instances. For me, in traditional html, I have always preferred to call out favicons specifically with a tag in the html this way I ensure that my code, not the server, is handling the file. So now, how do you do this in SharePoint? Here are my steps Drag a favicon.ico file to the Images directory of your MOSS site with SharePoint designer. I have created a simple favicon.ico ...

Mossman’s Weather Web Part

I recently created a simple weather web part to enter into Iain Munro’s content editor web part contest. Actually, I created two, one using the US National Weather service feeds which don’t seem to have restrictions on usage, and one that worked with Yahoo weather which has some restrictions on for-profit usage. Iain wanted the Yahoo one because it supports other countries other than the US, but there seems to be some stability issues with the Yahoo Weather RSS feed, where sometimes it doesn’t send the full data (has anyone else experienced this?). So for now, I will just post the National Weather service one. To use it, add the web part to your page and to change the city listed, just modify the shared web part and edit the XML Link to reflect one of the XML URLs listed at this url: http://www.weather.gov/data/current_obs/seek.php?state=fl&Find=Find Download the Web Part here: CurrentWeather_WebPart.zip  

Update to my SharePoint Name.dll ActiveX Fix

Dave Ginn recently tried out my name.dll fix (read more about it in my previous post) and ran into a problem with some users not being able to access the Site Actions menu. Personally, I have deployed the code to several external MOSS sites and not run into the problem. Let me know in the comments if you have used my fix code successfully or not, as I’m trying to determine what sort of setup causes it to occur. Note: Dave fixed his problem with some code modifications and posted it to his site. I may end up rolling this code back into my source here at this blog.