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

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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.

SharePoint Designer (SPD) 2010 vs 2013 Workflows

I frequently reference two resources linked at the bottom of this post that speak to the features unique to 2010 and 2013 workflows. Unfortunately, once you pick which workflow platform you’ll be building upon you can’t switch. So it’s important to use these lists in your evaluation phase to make sure you’ll be picking the right platform for the job. Keep in mind, you can always start a 2010 workflow from within a 2013 workflow.

Microsoft Flow vs SharePoint Designer (SPD) Approvals

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Perhaps one of the most useful automated processes out there is the ability to do approval processes. We fortunately have two tools on-prem or online that allows us to perform this action. Microsoft Flow offers some incredible connectivity between services (like approve a Tweet and post it, approve something from Google Docs and have it moved to SharePoint, etc.), but the approval process itself is very simple at this point and doesn’t offer some of the more robust features and customization options we get in SharePoint Designer 2013 approval processes.

I also will use both tools in the same business process occasionally, because they both have unique strengths.

But which do you use for approvals?

The quick answer to the question is: Use Flow for simple approvals, or approvals that involve multiple sites or external services. Use SPD for more complicated processes and customization options for approvals that involve a single site.

A better way to display “today’s events” from multiple calendars in SharePoint on your intranet home page

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Below on the left are two traditional, out-of-the-box solutions for showing Today’s events in SharePoint. Notice how both take up a lot of extra space repeating today’s date (which we don’t need to see at all in a web part called “Today’s Events”) or showing gray space where there are no events. Soak that in – prime real estate on your home page goes to non-existent events. These also may require overlays and other manual labor processes that need adjusted every time a calendar is added or removed.

But on the right is what you could have. It uses search instead and displays events from all calendars a user has access to in one place. It shows only the necessary information on the home page and links to full details. And with a little CSS included in this post, it can look polished and themed. Imagine all you could do with that saved space on your home page…

Also seen above: Adding local weather to your SharePoint intranet home page
and a “this week’s menu” button for your intranet

SharePoint Calendar Cleanup: Use one workflow to remove Outlook “Copy:” prefixes, standardize location names and delete canceled events

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We’ve all been there. One location on a shared calendar will be referred to by multiple people as 20 different things. Johnson Building Room 214 can be entered as “214,” “Johnson 214,” or “J214” to name a few. Canceled events stay on the calendar, sucking up real estate and waiting for someone to delete it manually. Items copied from another calendar make you pay for the convenience of a simple copy and paste by adding the “Copy: ” prefix to the item.

But with a single workflow, we can fix all of these and make our SharePoint calendars look more professional and polished without making more work for end users. This post will cover how we can use workflow to standardize naming of locations with workflow, delete events once they’ve been canceled and get rid of Outlook’s “Copy: ” prefix. You will need SharePoint Designer and appropriate permissions to create workflows to complete the following steps: