SharePoint: Web Part (Status Report)

Jame Milne, author of the ever popular SPskin utility has created another nifty little part for us! SharePoint Status report.

The SharePoint Status Report extracts hyperlinks directly from the SharePoint system and then checks the status of each hyperlink. The hyperlinks are extracted from all Portal Areas, Links Lists and Content Editor Web Parts, located in the Portal and Team Sites. The link status is then displayed in a detailed report that allows you to resolve and manage any issues that have been detected.

Read more and download the SharePoint Status Report Beta Here!

Official Xbox 360 Weekend

After a very long week of slipping in whatever gaming I could on lunch breaks and showing up to work each morning with a massive Xbox 360 hangover…this weekend will be 100% dedicated to my new Xbox 360. I’m hoping to squeeze in some preview / review type content as well since some of you have been asking for that.

But before I do I wanted to do a poll on how many of my readers would be interested in Xbox 360 content. So if you read my weblog, leave me a comment describing if:

A) You have an Xbox 360 – If so I’d love to hook up for a game online sometime. I’d be also interested in hearing some of your initial thoughts. Good or bad.

B) You plan on getting an Xbox 360 but couldn’t get one yet. We can hook up and play as well once you get yours. In the meantime, I’d be happy to show you what you are missing.

C) You are thinking about an Xbox 360 but haven’t made a decision yet – for those people I’d be willing to share more of my experiences with them so they can make an informed decision.

D) Don’t really care about Xbox or video games, you are just here for the SharePoint content. That’s totally cool too. :-)

SharePoint Customization: Themes, and SharePoint Portal Server 2003

I have had quite a few emails asking why I have been dealing so little with SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customization and focusing a lot on Themes and WSS.

It really comes down to what I am doing at the time and lately I have been doing a lot of WSS customization especially using themes. In fact the reason I have been adding so many theme posts will become quite obvious in the next few days (probably Monday).

For those that have been asking for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 customization the good news is it looks like I am about to jump into an SPS project real soon and subsequently my posts will reflect that so stay tuned.

SharePoint Customization Tip: Changing the Rich Text Editor Background

For those that have asked me how to do it via email/msn and to those that have been following the post on “SharePoint Gotchas” dealing with styling the Rich Text Editor, you will be pleased to know there is a solution, and a very easy one.

I first had this question via email and it later turned into several MSN conversations, none of which resulted in an answer, it was driving me crazy so I had to investigate it thoroughly. Huge thanks to my co-worker Lloyd Cotton for sitting down with me today to finally get to the bottom of this.

As with most things it turned out to be quite easy, but I’m not going to make it that easy on you! I had to suffer now it’s your turn! hehe – unless you want to skip to the end of course.

This post will guide you through the steps I went through to figure this out. While it’s not a very exciting read it can give you an idea of how to think from time to time when you are “really” stuck on how to customize something.

We know it’s getting classes from the theme, but it’s a pop-up window / control so getting to the source wasn’t so easy, there is no easy way to tell what class is being applied because there is no ‘easy’ way to see whats being rendered out. The only thing I knew from the beginning that for some reason it was inheriting the “BODY” properties.

After looking through the source that “opens” the Rich Text Editor however we find variables that we were able to track down (by skimming through all the .JS files) to CTP.JS which actually injects the theme into the Rich Text Editor window.

For anyone that has done any serious investigation of this customization you may realise that the functionality for the Rich Text Editor comes from the file HTMLEDIT.aspx. This is where the answer lies. Inside this file you can find exactly what class it’s using.

The DIV which surrounds the body where you type (in the rich text editor) has the class .ms-WPbody . Yes that is the answer to any RTE woes.

You can add things like background-color/image text-align:left etc etc to this class to affect the body of the document. There are a couple of other things that you need to take into account as well to properly customize the rich text editor.

.msWPbody p – This is a very important class which is applied each time you hit the enter key inside the RTE. You will want to make sure this has a “background-image/colour” that is the same as .ms-WPbody (unless you want to specify otherwise).

There is also .ms-WPbody H1, link etc etc.

So there you have it, the answer we’ve all been waiting for. (Or at least those that have been emailing me/leaving comments on this issue.)

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

It seems we are being left with less and less excuse for not making our web content accessible.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group has released Working Drafts of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and HTML Techniques for WCAG 2.0 and a First Public Working Draft of Understanding WCAG 2.0. Following WCAG makes Web content more accessible to the vast majority of users, including people with disabilities and older users, using many different devices including a wide variety of assistive technology. Read about the Web Accessibility Initiative.

When finished, WCAG 2.0 will clarify what was vague in previous Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) guidelines. It will also come with developer-friendly techniques and glosses, making accessibility easier to understand, and accessible markup easier to build into the sites we create.

Thanks to Jeff Zeldman for pointing to this.

SharePoint Customization Tip: Style your WSS Search

If you use themes to customize your SharePoint sites you have no doubt customized the .ms-searchform and .ms-searchcorner classes to change the background of your search form. These style the “WSS Search” box.

If you want to add a little extra flare to the search you can also style the input field by adding the following class to your theme.

/* Added Input Field Stlye (for search form) – Shane */
.ms-searchform input {
border:1px solid #000;

Simple but effective. Now if we just had a ‘working’ WSS search! :)

Building ASP.NET 2.0 Web Sites Using Web Standards

Great article on MSDN on creating ASP.NET 2.0 websites using web standards. This is a lengthy article (almost 80 printed pages). It walks you through explanations of XHTML, taking advantage of some great new features in Visual Studio 2005 and even provides as step-by-step at the end.

View the “Building ASP.NET 2.0 Web Sites using Web Standards” paper here.

Another tidbit I just noticed over on Scott Guthries site as well. Validating HTML using Visual Studio 2005.

Xbox 360 – The Wait is Over

I admit…I was starting to get nervous. The only place that did pre-orders here in St. John’s (that I know about) was EB Games and I didn’t want to risk going there since I had heard rumors of them over selling their launch day allocations. So I figured…how many other Xbox addicts can really exist here. Then the panic set in…

Anyhow after a 5am trip to Wal-Mart to camp out to get a console Shane and I were awarded the last ticket for a Premium console.


Victory didn’t come without injury however. Somehow in our rush to get to the store, I managed to spill my coffee in my eye. Not sure how exactly but man does it hurt!! But I can game with one eye. :-)

Oh and thanks to Shane for the best (pre-) birthday present ever!! Well aside from the Xbox he brought for me around the same time 4 years ago.