Posts Tagged ‘Customization’

Author: Tobias Zimmergren | | @zimmergren


In my previous post ( I talked about how you could use the new delegate controls in the master page (seattle.master) to modify a few things in the SharePoint UI, including the text in the top left corner saying "SharePoint". If your goal is simply to change the text, or hardcode a link without the need for any code behind, you could do it even easier with PowerShell.

Changing the SharePoint text to something else using PowerShell





PowerShell Snippet

$webApp = Get-SPWebApplication http://tozit-sp:2015
$webApp.SuiteBarBrandingElementHtml = "Awesome Text Goes Here"



Author: Tobias Zimmergren | | @zimmergren


In this post we’ll take a quick look at some of the new DelegateControls I’ve discovered for SharePoint 2013 and how you can replace or add information to your new master pages using these new controls, without modifying the master pages. This is done exactly the same way as you would do it back in the 2010 projects (and 2007), the only addition in this case are a few new controls that we’ll investigate.

New DelegateControls

Searching through the main master page, Seattle.master, I’ve found these three new DelegateControls:

  • PromotedActions
  • SuiteBarBrandingDelegate
  • SuiteLinksDelegate

So let’s take a look at where these controls are placed on the Master page and how we can replace them.

PromotedActions Delegate Control

The PromotedActions delegate control allows you to add your own content to the following area on a SharePoint site in the top-right section of the page:


An example of adding an additional link may look like this:


So what does the files look like for these parts of the project?


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="">
  <!-- DelegateControl reference to the PromotedActions Delegate Control -->
  <Control ControlSrc="/_controltemplates/15/Zimmergren.DelegateControls/PromotedAction.ascx"
           Sequence="1" />

PromotedActions.aspx (User Control)

<!-- Note: I've removed the actual Facebook-logic from this snippet for easier overview of the structure. -->
<a title="Share on Facebook" class="ms-promotedActionButton" style="display: inline-block;" href="#">
    <span class="s4-clust ms-promotedActionButton-icon" style="width: 16px; height: 16px; overflow: hidden; display: inline-block; position: relative;">
        <img style="top: 0px; position: absolute;" alt="Share" src="/_layouts/15/images/Zimmergren.DelegateControls/facebookshare.png"/>
    <span class="ms-promotedActionButton-text">Post on Facebook</span>

SuiteBarBrandingDelegate Delegate Control

This DelegateControl will allow you to override the content that is displayed in the top-left corner of every site. Normally, there’s a text reading "SharePoint" like this:


If we override this control we can easily replace the content here. For example, most people would probably like to add either a logo or at least make the link clickable so you can return to your Site Collection root web. Let’s take a look at what it can look like if we’ve customized it (this is also a clickable logo):


So what does the files look like for this project?


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="">
  <!-- SuiteBarBrandingDelegate (the top-left "SharePoint" text on a page) -->
  <Control ControlSrc="/_controltemplates/15/Zimmergren.DelegateControls/SuiteBarBrandingDelegate.ascx"
           Sequence="1" />

SuiteBarBrandingDelegate.ascx (User Control)

This is the only content in my User Control markup:

<div class="ms-core-brandingText" id="BrandingTextControl" runat="server" /> (User Control Code Behind)

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
    BrandingTextControl.Controls.Add(new Literal
        Text = string.Format("<a href='{0}'><img src='{1}' alt='{2}' /></a>", 

SuiteLinksDelegate Delegate Control

The SuiteLinksDelegate control will allow us to modify the default links, and to add our own links, in the "suit links" section:


By adding a custom link to the collection of controls, it can perhaps look like this:


What does the project files look like for modifying the SuiteLinksDelegate? Well, here’s an example:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="">
  <!-- DelegateControl reference to the SuiteLinksDelegate Delegate Control -->
  <Control ControlSrc="/_controltemplates/15/Zimmergren.DelegateControls/SuiteLinksDelegate.ascx"
           Sequence="1" />


SuiteLinksDelegate.aspx.cs (User Control Code Behind)

public partial class SuiteLinksDelegate : MySuiteLinksUserControl
    protected override void Render(HtmlTextWriter writer)
        writer.Write(".ms-core-suiteLinkList {display: inline-block;}");
        writer.AddAttribute(HtmlTextWriterAttribute.Class, "ms-core-suiteLinkList");
        // The true/false parameter means if it should be the active link or not - since I'm shooting off this to an external URL, it will never be active..
        RenderSuiteLink(writer, "", "Time Report", "ReportYourTimeAwesomeness", false);


Solution overview

For reference: I’ve structured the project in a way where I’ve put all the changes into one single Elements.xml file and they’re activated through a Site Scoped feature called DelegateControls. The solution is a Farm solution and all artifacts required are deployed through this package.



In this post we’ve looked at how we can customize some of the areas in a SharePoint site without using master page customizations. We’ve used the good-old approach of hooking up a few Delegate Control overrides to our site collection. Given the approach of Delegate Controls, we can easily just de-activate the feature and all our changes are gone. Simple as that.

In SharePoint 2013 we can still do Delegate Control overrides just like we did back in 2007 and 2010 projects, and it’s still pretty slick. I haven’t investigated any other master pages other than the Seattle.master right now – perhaps there’s more new delegate controls somewhere else. Let’s find out..


[Tiny post]

As many of you might have experienced when you create your own custom list definition, you can also create your custom forms (DispForm.aspx for example).

In my case, I want the DispForm.aspx to use another master page than it originally does, and so I thought I’d just change the following line of my DispForm.aspx:


<%@ Page language="C#" MasterPageFile="~masterurl/default.master" …%>


<%@ Page language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/_layouts/zTest/test.master" …%>


Doing this will most likely cause you to receive the following known error message:

An error occurred during the processing of . The referenced file ‘/_layouts/zTest/test.master’ is not allowed on this page.


Instead of changing the MasterPageFile attribute of the Page directive, inject some server-side script in the DispForm.aspx in order to change the MasterPageFile property though code.

In your DispForm.aspx, do the following:

  • Keep the MasterPageFile=”~masterurl/default.master” attribute
  • Insert the following server-side script directly undet the <%@ Page … %> directive:

<script runat="server">
    protected void Page_PreInit(object sender, EventArgs e)
        this.MasterPageFile = "~/_layouts/zTest/test.master";

  • Watch your DispForm.aspx use a new Master Page without getting the error message.

Thanks to

I’d like to shout out to MVP Eric Schupps for giving me this smart tip.
I just might buy you a beer, Eric.

Author: Tobias Zimmergren

After being rather busy the last couple of weeks due to taking the SharePoint Certifications as well as tutoring some MOSS 2007 Development around the country it has finally begun to lighten up again. Being the geeky nerd that I am (Yeah, like you aint?), of course the first thing that comes to my mind is to complete the two articles about customizing the Search Results Page with a third post on the subject which will show you a trick to use SharePoint Designer to generate your custom XSLT. These posts are by no means any in-depth articles on the subject, but rather a pointer to get you started on the journey. If there’s interest to create a more in-depth article series about the subject, don’t hesitate to contact me using the contactlink from my blog or leave a comment to this post.

Please refer to the previous articles if you have any questions about editing the xslt for your Search Result. They can be found here:
MOSS 2007: Customize the Search Result using XSLT
MOSS 2007: Customizing the Search Results Page (XSLT) – Part 2 – Add highlighting

Step by step

First of all, take a look at this picture to understand how it looks before the changes are done (this picture illustrates a standard-layout of the Search Core Results WebPart that is shown when you perform a search in the Search Center) 

Modify the XSLT of the Search Core Results Web Part to get the raw XML

The search results are actually based on plain XML (which is why we can use XSLT to customize the appearance of the results to a high extent) so what we will do here is to basically use standard XSLT to get ALL the XML elements displayed in the search results as raw XML. This is done because we will use this raw XML in SharePoint Designer to generate some good looking XSLT markup for our Search Core Results Web Part.

Replace the existing XSLT markup from the Search Core Results Web Part with the following snippet (which basically just give us the raw XML output when searching):

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0"
<xsl:output method="xml" version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" indent="yes"/>
<xsl:template match="/">
  <xmp><xsl:copy-of select="*"/></xmp>


Now if you publish the page, you will see a result like the result in the following picure, which illustrates how the raw XML could look: 

Make use of the raw XML that SharePoint generated for us in the Search Core Results Web Part

Copy all the raw XML data (including the <All_Results> tags and save to a new XML-file (I named mine rawsearchresult.xml)

When you’ve copied down the raw XML and saved the file, launch SharePoint Designer 2007 – Let the magic begin!


Use SharePoint Designer 2007 to customize the XSLT for your Search Result Page in SharePoint 2007

Launch Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 and open up your SharePoint site (by going to "File" – "Open Site.." and enter the url to your SharePoint site (in my case, it’s "http://zimmergren" and hit open)

Next, choose File – New – "ASPX" to create a new ASP.NET page. Note that you do not need to save this page because we will only use the page as a base when we customize our XSLT using SharePoint Designer. Later, when we are satisfied with the presentation of our search results, we will simply copy the generated XSLT and close the new .aspx page and ignore the changes. 

Now from the File-meny choose "Data View" – "Insert Data View" to insert a standard DataFormWebPart.

Note, when inserting the aforementioned Data View, the Data Source Library is opened/displayed in the top right pane (if you havn’t customized the appearance of SPD) as seen here: 

In this newly opened Data Source Library we will expand the node that says "XML Files" and choose "Add an XML file…". Browse to your XML file that contains the raw XML and hit okay. 

You will be confronted with a question asking you to import the file into SharePoint, press Ok. When you’ve hit OK until you’re back on the aspx-page, you will see your newly added XML file under the "XML Files" node in the tree in the Data Source Library and in my case it’s called "rawsearchresults.xml"

Click the dropdown of your file, and choose "Show Data". Next, choose the tags/entities that you want to include in the presentation of your Search Result by holding down Ctrl + clicking the ones you’d like to insert. 

Simply drag and drop those items onto the DataFormWebPart on your ASPX-page and it will automatically render the XSLT for you, like so: 

Now, either manually edit the presentation of your search results – or choose the quick edit for your DataFormWebPart and click "Change layout…"

On dialog, choose your desired layout to base the presentation of your search results on. 

When we’ve done this, SharePoint Designer automatically renders the XSLT for us (based on the XML File we chose, that contains our raw XML for the Search Results (which is also why we get the nice preview in SharePoint Designer)) 

Now, that might not be the best layout to use for displaying the search results on a page.. So we will have to do some manual tweaking in order to get the presentation of this XSLT to fully fit our needs and demands.

Something that is important to note is how we can e.g. change the title to become a hyperlink that links to the acutal object by choosing the title-element and using the Quick Edit to change some properties. Note that I changed the title to a Hyperlink, which links to {url} that is part of the Search Result and also setting the title to {title} which also is an element in the Search Result.

Do all your manual tweaking (either by customizing the XSLT from the source view, or as the previous picture illustrated) and continue to the next step.

Tip: You can of course add Sorting, Filtering and Grouping aswell by simply choosing it in the same dialog that we chose to change the layout..

Use the XSLT that was rendered by SharePoint Designer 2007 in the Search Core Results Web Part

Switch to Split View or Source View, and copy the entire <xsl:stylesheet> tag and all content. 

Now simply paste the generated XSLT into your Search Core Results WebPart’s XML-section.

NOTE: If you can’t see the entire Web Part and thereby not being able to access the edit-button, you can simply enter the querystring: ?contents=1 which will take you to the Web Part Maintenence Page for your site, where you can delete the webpart, and then add a new one as usual, and edit the XSLT of the new Search Core Results Web Part instead.

Publish the page, and behold your new presentation of the Search Results. Please note that I didn’t make any heavy customizations to my XSLT and therefore it’s rather steril, but you can make some major changes in the XSLT and in SharePoint Designer if you really want to customize the display of your Search Results.

This is how my presentation of the Search Results look like: 

I love feedback and comments :)

If you liked this article please leave a comment with feedback so I know that people read it, otherwise it’s boring to write these step by step illustrated articles.

Cheers, and good weekend.

Author: Tobias Zimmergren

The other day I got a comment on a post from one of my readers who wanted to know how you can connect your custom created Search Page with a specific Search Scope.

Create a custom Search Page

  1. Navigate to your Search Center (http://yourcompany/SearchCenter)
  2. Choose "Site Actions -> Create Page"
  3. Create a new Search Page by using the "(Welcome Page) Search Page" template and fill in your details

It should look like this:

Create a custom Search Results Page

  1. Make sure that you are back at the Search Center site
  2. Choose "Site Actions -> Create Page"
  3. Create a new Search Results Page by using the "(Welcome Page) Search Results Page" template and fill in your details

It should look something like this:

Add the newly created Search Page to the tablist in your Search Center

  1. Make sure that you are back at the Search Center site
  2. Choose "Site Actions -> View All Site Contents"

You will now see one list for the Search Pages and one list for the Search Results Pages, as seen in this picture:

  1. Navigate to "Tabs in Search Pages"
  2. Choose "New -> New Item"
  3. Enter the Title, Page (The page.aspx you created earlier. I used ZimmerSearch.aspx) and optionally enter a Tooltip
  4. Click "OK"
  5. You will see your new Tab show up in the list

Add the newly created Search Results Page to the Tablist in your Search Center

  1. In the top of your left menu you will see "View All Site Content", Click it.
  2. Repeat the steps from the previous section but use the Search Results Page you created instead.

If you navigate to your Search Center, you will see that your Tab has been added to the Tablist:

Connect your Search Page  with your Search Results Page

  1. Click on your newly created Tab
  2. Choose "Site Actions -> Edit Page"
  3. Choose "Edit -> Modify This Shared Web Part" on your Search Box
  4. Under the "Scopes Dropdown" section choose "Show, do not include contextual scopes" in the Dropdown mode
  5. Enter a Dropdown label if you’d like

It should look something like this:

  1. Expand the "Miscellaneous" section
  2. Enter your Search Results Page filename into the "Target search results page URL" textbox (I used ZimmerSearchResults.aspx)
  3. Click "Ok"

Now publish the page and it should look something like this:

Make sure it works

  1. Make a search on your custom Search Page
  2. Make sure that the url contians your custom Search Results Page
    (Mine is: http://zimmer/SearchCenter/Pages/ZimmerSearchResults.aspx)
  3. It works!

Can I bind the Search Page to a specific Scope?

Of course you can. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Site’s Scope’s section (I usually just navigate to http://zimmer/_layouts/viewscopes.aspx?mode=site)
    (This can be done by just navigating to Site Settings, Go to Top Level site settings, Search Scopes)
  2. Choose "New Display Group"
  3. Enter a Title (Important: Remember this name!)
  4. Choose your Scope in the Scopes list
  5. Make sure it’s also the Default Scope
  6. Click OK

Your displaygroup should be shown with a scope, similar to this:

  1. Go back to your Search Center
  2. Navigate to your custom created Search Page
  3. Again, choose "Site Actions -> Edit Page"
  4. Expand the "Miscellaneous" section
  5. Locate the "Scope Display Group" text box
  6. Enter your newly created Display Group (The name of the display group, mine was Zimmer)
  7. Click "OK"
  8. Publish your page

The Dropdown with Scopes should now only contain your newly added Display Group, similar to the following screenshot:

And what do you know… It works :)

Thanks for taking your time to read this, please leave a comment or two :)

MOSS 2007: Customize the Search Result (using XSLT)

August 23rd, 2007 by Tobias Zimmergren

Author: Tobias Zimmergren

Since people have been bugging me to get started with the blogging again, I guess I should just take their advice and get to it.

This blogpost will cover the basics of customizing your search results-page using XSLT.

I will in a later blogpost also show you how you can use SharePoint Designer as a tool to create the actual XSLT for you in combination with the DataViewer Web Part, and then how you can modify the created XSLT to match whatever specifications you’ve got in your designs.

I would recommend creating a new Search Page and Search Results Page to use, but for this little demo I’ll just use the default search page and search results page.

Let’s get started then..

First of, take a look at the search results page (the page you see when you’ve made a search):

From here, take the following actions:

  1. Choose Site Actions -> Edit Page
  2. Locate the "Search Core Results" web part, and choose "Edit" -> "Modify Shared WebPart"
  3. Locate "Data View Properties" and choose the huge "XSL Editor…" button :)

You should now see something like this:

Now all you need to do (if you wish to use the existing properties) is to add your custom xhtml (I tend to say xhtml instead of html to mark the importance of web standards and cross-browser compatability).

I just added some style-attributes to the body div and the results template span-tag to mark my point. I did by no means put any energy into making this look nice. Please believe me ;)

And this is the final "stylish" outcome:


What have we accomplished today then? Well, nothing big at all. Just a little tip on how you can customize the Search Result presentation with minimum knowledge or efforts. I however will in one of my next blogposts let you in on a little tip on how to use SharePoint Designer and the Data View Web Part to create the custom XSLT for you fully automatically instead of customizing the existing XSLT with your own xhtml. That basically means that it’s dead-easy to change the looks, layout and appearance of the search results in a much more extensive!

That’s a wrap!
By the way; I love comments and try to answer them, feel free to add one while you’re here :)

Common Page and Site Customization Tasks (MOSS 2007)

November 29th, 2006 by Tobias Zimmergren

Check this MSDN site/article out. Summarizes alot of information about customizing your pages and sites :)

These topics are covered:
How to: Customize Navigation
How to: Create a Minimal Master Page
How to: Customize Page Editing Toolbar Components
How to: Add a Button to the HTML Editor Field Control
How to: Customize the HTML Editor Field Control
How to: Customize the Asset Picker
How to: Customize Styles
How to: Customize the Content Query Web Part by using Custom Properties
How to: Display Custom Fields in a Content Query Web Part
How to: Create a Custom Field Control (Movie Control)