SharePoint Designer SP1 Released 6

I don’t normally like to repost stuff to death, but something that could be missed in the flurry of Office service pack 1’s that have been released today is the SPD SP1 release. I just installed it in my local SharePoint Designer instance and so far I haven’t had any problems (though I admittedly haven’t put it through the paces yet). It seems slightly more responsive though that may be just a placebo affect. If you have any remarkable positive or negative upgrade outcomes, post a reply here. Link to the SharePoint Designer SP1 Download for the lazy

Using Firebug to Manage CSS Effectively

I often talk about the benefits of using Firebug for Firefox in the MSDN Design and Customization Forums. Rather than try to type out a long winded article on why it rules, I found a video that should help to convince non believers that it is truly superior to the IE Developers Toolbar: Firebug 1.0 Beta Screencast by Jesse Newland  Takes a little bit of time to download the video, but its worth it.

Fixing the name.dll ActiveX Problem the Mossman Way 5

UPDATE: Are you using SharePoint 2010? See my newer post about the name ActiveX message in SharePoint 2010. Have you seen this message on public facing SharePoint sites: The Web site wants to run the following add-on: ‘Name ActiveX Control’ from ‘Microsoft Corporation’. If you trust the Web site and the add-on and want to allow it to run, click here… For an example of one (at least until they fix it), check out: http://www.viacom.com/pages/default.aspx There are quite a few nice examples of internet facing SharePoint 2007 sites on the interwebs these days, however many of them seem to be plagued by this minor annoyance that seems to have slipped through the Microsoft cracks. The problem is compounded by the fact that most developers won’t even notice the issue until their portal is available to internet users. This is due to the fact that the problem is seen only in Internet Explorer 7 and only ...

Adding Prompt Text Inside of a Search Text Box 1

I had a client need today to make the out of the box SharePoint search box have the prompt text actually inside the box instead of before the box. I’m not sure what you call this pattern exactly but you can find it on many modern websites including on Amazon’s homepage in the A9 search box in the top right corner. The boxes I’m referring to usually have the text “Website Search” or something similar inside them and when you click the box to add your search terms, javascript usually clears them out for you. So, I set out to make this work in the MOSS search box, and found some difficulty at first, my immediate thought was to add it with a “value” property, but SharePoint pretty much ignored that. So, I then thought I could do it in javascript, but SharePoint gives the search box a dynamic ID name like: “ctl00_PlaceHolderSearchArea_SearchBox_SD06736D6_InputKeywords” At the ...

New SharePoint 2007 Publishing Portal

As my friends John Ross (on Moss) and Andrew Connell have mentioned already today, the new web portal for Orange County Public Schools has just gone live. The team I work for was responsible for transitioning their website from a loose confederation of around 50 department managed websites into one unified Microsoft SharePoint 2007 publishing portal. I think the key differentiator for the site (compared to many other public SharePoint sites) is that it is maintaned not by a central team, but instead by these 50 departments and their respective employees. As for the initiative, I was primarily responsible for all of the public facing UI elements of the portal. This included several customized masterpages, layouts, tons of css, custom webparts, custom XSL transformations, and restyling of several out of the box webparts. We had a lot of fun working on the project, but there was also considerable pain as well. Our team owes a ...

How to Add a Button to the HTML Editor Control in SharePoint 2

The HTML Editor Control (or rich text editor) in SharePoint 2007 is a pretty helpful addition to the product (assuming your users are using IE). If you would like to programmatically add your own buttons to the toolbar, you will most likely find only one or two articles from a Google search on the topic. Most links point to this page at the msdn: How to: Add a Button to the HTML Editor Field Control Unfortunately, I think this document is flawed in many ways. Because of this, the other day, I set out to actually get it working, and in the process I have simplified their example and have made it a bit more useful (hopefully). I’m not sure why their example is filled with syntax errors, contains unnecessary logic (example: always reading the second item in an array?!?!), and does not bother to reset the button to a usable state when they are ...

Sharepoint 2007 Customization Ramp Up – Part 3: Basic Customization 1

Welcome to Part 3 of the series. In the previous two sections I covered things you should know before getting started with SharePoint Customization, while in this section I will cover actually doing some customization. Firstly, let me state for the record that most of what I’ve learned on this topic has been from reading blogs from Heather Solomon and Liam Cleary, along with just playing with things myself. Many of the topics covered in this article can seen in much more detail in some of their posts. Basic Customization: Using SharePoint Designer Understanding How Pages are Rendered in SharePoint Minimal Master Page Overriding Cascading Style Sheets CSS Friendly Adapters Customizing Navigation Customizing Search Results More Customization Examples   Using SharePoint Designer I covered some basic concepts of using SharePoint Designer and the pitfalls of UnGhosting in my previous article. That being said, this article will be centered mostly around customization by using SharePoint Designer, ...

CSS Friendly Control Adapters in SharePoint 2007 (A Walk-Through) 2

My good friend John Ross just managed to get the CSS Friendly Control Adapters working in a SharePoint 2007 Publish Site, and I was able to talk him into posting a guest blog entry on the topic. If you aren’t familiar with them, you should check out the CSS Friendly Control Adapters here, they are very helpful in creating CSS only, standards compliant controls (like the menu and treeView) for easy styling. I also noted that Microsoft was kind enough to allow the community to take over the development and enhancements of the adapters in an open source model. You can read more about that news in their forums. So without further fanfare, here is John Ross’s CSS Friendly Adapters in SharePoint 2007 walk-through: One of biggest selling points for SharePoint 2007 is that it is built on top of ASP.NET 2.0.  That means, that if you create a design that will work in ASP.NET ...

Sharepoint 2007 Customization Ramp Up – Part 2: Initial Concepts

In Part 2 of this series I wanted to cover some of the initial concepts involved in customizing SharePoint 2007. I will try to cover a few of the highest level ideas that you need to understand through some descriptions and links to some of the blog posts that cover the concepts in more detail. Initial Concepts: Wss vs. Moss 2003 vs. 2007 Publishing Site vs. Team Site Site Collections vs. Sites Using SharePoint Designer Ghosting and UnGhosting The 12 Hive   Wss vs. Moss An obvious first place to start, is the differences between Windows SharePoint Service Version 3 (WSS V3) and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (Moss 2007). I’m not sure what team at Microsoft is involved with coming up with the official names of their products, but I’m quite certain they need to be disbanded and reinvented. No marketing company in their right mind would name these products so similarly. To put ...

Sharepoint 2007 Customization Ramp Up – Part 1: Getting Started

Welcome to Part 1 of a multipart series on getting ramped up on SharePoint 2007 customization. My team is working on a good sized Moss 2007 implementation currently and have begun the customization process, in this series I will try to recount the basic steps we have used to get to where we are in the project. This series will consist mostly of links to the many blog and web postings that our team found useful throughout the learning process. I will also try to describe some key points that I think are necessary to “get” Moss 2007 customization. So, without further fanfare, here is part 1. SharePoint 2007 Customization Ramp Up – Part 1: Getting Started For this part, I will only be discussion the very basics of getting started. When my team began the project we had no knowledge of SharePoint 2003 or ECM for that matter. We started by just reading as ...