Solution: “This web site has been configured to disallow page editing with SharePoint Designer.”

There are three possible causes I’m aware of that you should check if you receive this message:

  • Central admin settings not configured properly
  • Site collection settings not configured properly
  • You’re using a Project Web App (PWA) site template and can only fix this on SharePoint Server

I’ll cover the solutions for each in the same order:

Central admin

Go to central admin –> manage web applications

Select the web app on which you received the error and select “SharePoint Designer” from the general settings drop-down. Make sure the first box is checked and click “OK.”

Site collection settings

Go to site settings –> SharePoint Designer Settings (under Site Collection Administration)

Make sure “Enable SharePoint Designer” is checked and click OK

Project web app template issue

Log in to a SharePoint server and go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\Web Server Extensions\16\TEMPLATE\SiteTemplates\PWA\XML

Open the ONET XML file in a text editor like NotePad

Search for “webdesign” (Ctrl+F to open search) and delete the following property:

DisableWebDesignFeatures="wdfeditpages"

Perform an IIS reset (run SharePoint management shell as administrator)

You may need to repeat these steps on multiple servers if you have multiple web front end servers. You can just copy the ONET file and overwrite the same file on the other servers in the same location. Don’t forget to do an IIS reset afterward on each.

Close and re-open your Project Web App site in SharePoint Designer and you should now be able to edit as you do with other sites.

Add Bing search results to SharePoint results

Want to make your “search everything” really search everything? Add bing results to your SharePoint search results. You can do this as a result block (added to your results column) or as a separate results column as seen in the example at the bottom of this post.

Bing supports OpenSearch protocol while Google does not. This allows us to utilize Bing’s search engine from within our SharePoint environments (server or online). If you’re using SharePoint Server (on-prem), you’ll need to provide a proxy server for crawling and federation in central admin –> search administration.

The rest of the steps are the same for either online or on-prem:

  1. Create result source
  2. Create query rule

And you can do a similar process for a single site collection (through site collection settings) but I’ll be demonstrating this through central admin (for all site collections).

Create result source

  1. From central admin –> search administration, click on “Result sources” under “Queries and Results”
  2. Click “New Result Source”
  3. Set the settings as follows, pasting https://www.bing.com/search?q={searchTerms}&format=rss&Market=en-us for the Source URL.
  4. Leave credentials as “anonymous” and click “Save”

Create query rule

  1. Click on “Query Rules” from the left nav in Search Administration
  2. Set context to “Local SharePoint Results” and click “New Query Rule”
  3. Name it “Bing Query Rule” and click “Remove Condition” since we want Bing to be included in every query
  4. Click “Add Result Block” and set as follows:

Optional settings:

  • You can set the “context” settings to apply this rule to ALL result sources, or just to the Local SharePoint Results (default)
  • You can edit the result block so that a “more” link appears. Link it to https://www.bing.com/search?q={subjectTerms} to allow users to leave SharePoint and see even more results from Bing
  • Choose whether you want the “Bing results” block to appear at the top of SharePoint results or ranked. I recommend ranked if you’re only wishing to supplement your search for the occasional user who thinks SharePoint search is internet search.

Implementation

There are too many ways to implement this new result source to share here, but use your imagination. Each “search results” web part can be configured to use or ignore query rules.

In this example, we’re using query rules and promoting the top two bing results to the top of our SharePoint results with a “more” link that would take us out to Bing. This method requires the result source and query rule.

In this example, we’ve created a third column on our search results page that shows the top Bing results alongside our top SharePoint results. You don’t need a query rule for this, just the added result source and a separate web part.

So finally “Search everything” can really “search everything.”

Import a synonym thesaurus to improve search in SharePoint server

Health care or healthcare? Doctor or physician? Emergency room or ER?

No matter which terms, spellings or abbreviations a SharePoint search user uses, they’re searching for something specific. By utilizing a simple thesaurus, we can make sure that a user searching for “ER” also gets results that include “emergency room.”

How to create a thesaurus

Note: Not currently available in SharePoint online/O365. But should be supported in 2013/2016/2019. 

What to include

If your industry is like most others, you have many acronyms – that’s a good starting place for building a thesaurus. Your thesaurus can contain considerations such as:

  • Acronyms (ER/ED for emergency room/department)
  • Abbreviations (Dr. and doctor)
  • Common misspellings (absess and abscess)
  • Formal and casual pairs (gastric and stomach)
  • Synonyms (purchasing, requisition, ordering, supplies, etc.)
  • Variations of a word (radiology, radiologist, radiologic, radiological)

Once you’ve compiled your basic thesaurus from going through the above suggestions, you should analyze the search reports provided by SharePoint to see what people have been actually searching but not finding. Then use those search terms to further enhance your thesaurus.

For example, when my governance committee analyzed search reports, we came up with people searching for “KU” (our local University and neighboring health system) and added “University of Kansas” to our thesaurus.

Import your completed thesaurus

Note: Each time you import, it overwrites the existing thesaurus. I recommend updating the same file you’ve created with new lines rather than recreating it multiple times. Also be sure to save the file in a place others can access and update in your absence. You won’t be able to export it later.

Repeat these steps each time you want to update the thesaurus:

Note: You must be a search service application administrator to import the thesaurus.

Log in to a SharePoint server and run PowerShell with the SharePoint snap-in or just use the SharePoint management shell (recommended). Either way, run as administrator.

Run the following cmdlets

$searchApp = Get-SPEnterpriseSearchServiceApplication 
Import-SPEnterpriseSearchThesaurus -SearchApplication $searchApp -Filename <Full UNC Path>

If successful, you’ll see the following confirmation:

Test your work!

The changes should be almost instant, with no need to perform any crawls. Here’s an example of how in our search “med staff” now also searches for “medical staff”.

SharePoint’s Content Query Web Part (CQWP) is missing!

Applies to: SharePoint Server/on-prem

I love SharePoint’s Content Query Web Part (CQWP) – but if you’re missing a feature in your site collection(s), you may not have it! Luckily you can get it back in just four clicks.

  • Go to Site Settings
  • Click “Site Collection Features” under “Site Collection Administration” (Note: Must have full control or site collection administrator permissions to see this option)
  • Activate “SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure
  • Now your CQWP should be available as a web part under Content Rollup.

If you need to activate the SharePoint Server Publishing Infrastructure across all site collections in a web app, I recommend checking out 
Salaudeen Rajack’s site, SharePointDiary.com, for instructions on doing this via PowerShell.

Increasing MySite OneDrive for Business Storage

I recently ran into the following error message when using OneDrive for Business via MySites (on-prem 2016).

“No free space. Your site is out of storage space and changes can’t be saved…”

The recommendation is to empty your recycle bin, but the recycle bin is probably empty.

The default storage limit for MySites is set to 100 MB (which doesn’t go so far these days).

If you already have a bunch of personal sites created, it’s not as easy as tweaking the quota template. You will need to update the quota template for future sites, then reset all existing sites to use the updated template as well.

Update the Quota Template

Learn more on quota templates: Create, edit, and delete quota templates in SharePoint Server

Set existing sites to use updated template

Now that you’ve set the storage quota template for future sites, we need to update pre-existing sites to adopt this new storage limit. We’ll need to do this via PowerShell.

  1. Remote connect to a SharePoint server
  2. Open SharePoint 2013/2016 Management Shell as administrator (right-click, Run as Administrator)
  3. Run the following script, replacing the web app address with your own, and the template name if different from Personal Site
    $SPWebApp = Get-SPWebApplication https://mysites.MYORG.org
    
    foreach ($SPSite in $SPWebApp.Sites)
    {
        if ($SPSite -ne $null)
        {
            Set-SPSite -Identity $SPSite.url -QuotaTemplate "Personal Site"
            $SPSite.Dispose()
        }
    }

And that’s it! Once that has run successfully, all of your MySites should now have the new limit in place.

Durable Document Links in SharePoint Server 2016 and Online/O365

I’ve heard these mystical links called many things, whether persistent, permanent or durable, but they all mean the same thing:

Your document links will be unbreakable when changing file names or moving files because the links created for sharing/linking refer to the document by an ID instead of its common name.

But for this to work you must activate a site collection feature available only on SharePoint 2016 or later, or SharePoint Online/O365.

iexplore_2018-11-01_13-18-10

Before activating Document ID Service feature:

https://sharepointlibrarian.sharepoint.com/:w:/r/Shared%20Documents/TV%20Guide.docx?d=w5996b48071d14dc9a5fa6f01c4e763b1&csf=1&e=nBtnVp

After activating Document ID Service feature:

https://sharepointlibrarian.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/DocIdRedir.aspx?ID=H6C7DWJ6MW7Q-1797567310-12

Continue reading “Durable Document Links in SharePoint Server 2016 and Online/O365”

Why and when you should be using relative links in SharePoint

Consider either of these scenarios:

Re-branding/Restructuring/Renaming

  • Your organization and its departments are re-structuring and changing names
  • Your IT department and content strategists decide on a new naming convention that affects your site names and URLs to access those sites OR you’re changing from http to https
  • You have hundreds (thousands?) of documents, links, content queries and script references across your sites that refer to the old URLs and are now broken

Copying Sites/Structures or Creating Templates

  • You need to create a team site template that contains default content and page designs
  • You create the template with script references, page and promoted links that are absolute
  • You have to update all of those links (some perhaps buried deep in your layouts folder) to the new site location URL unless those links are meant to call back to a different site.

Keep in mind that if a user doesn’t have access to the site or subsite library where referenced scripts are held, those scripts won’t run for that user no matter what. This can affect the look, feel, and function of the site which causes confusion and confidence issues when they call and you say “Looks fine to me!” and they have a different experience

Many of these issues and “cleanup tasks” can be avoided (for the most part) by using relative URLs instead of absolute URLs.

Continue reading “Why and when you should be using relative links in SharePoint”

Change a SharePoint site collection top-level site URL

Changing a SharePoint site collection name is easy enough (Site Settings –> “Title, description, and logo”), but changing the URL for a top-level site is a bit more involved than just changing a subsite URL. Note that this post applies to on-premise/server environments only.

Continue reading “Change a SharePoint site collection top-level site URL”

Change a SharePoint subsite name and URL

Sometimes “Marketing” becomes “Communication” or you’ve changed a site URL naming convention so that instead of “sharepoint.mycompany.com/marketing” you’ll be shortening all department sites to something like “sharepoint.mycompany.com/mark”. Follow these steps to change the name and URL for a SharePoint subsite.

Note: If you’re trying to change the URL for a top-level site (site collection level), you’ll need to change the URL as an administrator using PowerShell.

Continue reading “Change a SharePoint subsite name and URL”