Customize the Announcement List View


Okay it’s been a while since my last post, but first of all: my best wishes for 2007 for everyone 😉

I needed to customize the view of data of the Announcement List webpart. As you probably know, the default view is just a listing of all your data like this:

@Title 01
By @Author
@Body 

@Title 02
By @Author
@Body

This is basic but when your content of an announcement is way too long (@Body element) your page will be vertically very long, so you want perhaps this kind of layout:

@Title 01 (+link to full item) By @Author
Publish the first 50 characters of your @Body followed by …read more (+link to full item)

@Title 02 (+link to full item) By @Author
Publish the first 50 characters of your @Body followed by …read more (+link to full item) 

It’s not difficult to create this but there is one sneaky thing …

Steps to create a custom view:
          Create a new view based on the standard view and with the necessary fields (mostly: Body, Author, Created, …)
          Give the view a name (results in a “name.aspx”).
          Startup your Sharepoint Designer to modify the layout of it.
          Navigate to the “name.aspx” and do a checkout of it.
          Right-click on the Announcement webpart on the page and choose for the action: “Convert to XSLT Dataview” (this will render the code into a XSLT in which you can easly modify the look and feel).

From this point you can just modify in the html-xslt code your created view.  I’m not going to describe this,  it’s very readable and straight forward html-XSLT.

The problem that I found was this:  Normally you would say: "Hey if you want only the first 50 characters of your xml-element, just use then the substring(string, start, length) xsl-function and the job is done."
So in our situation => substring(@Body, 0, 50). Save the file and hit refresh.

This resulted in an empty cell, I didn’t saw the first 50 chars… I finally found that when you enter data in een RichHTML editor (used for the body of the announcement) sharepoint automatically adds a div-tag with class-attribuut which contains a GUID.

I entered this text via the sharepoint online interface

This is the body of my announcement, bla bla bla …

but actually, the text is always saved by sharepoint like this: 

<DIV class=ExternalClass2D1A501BFA95457AB2E2C6C5C337160A>
<DIV>This is the body of my announcement, bla bla bla …</DIV></DIV>

So, to correct the line of xsl-code I’ll needed to write:

substring(@Body, 63, 50)

You can see, those extra html-elements are generated as a wrapper around your body text. Just add 63 to your offset and yo are done…

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One Response to Customize the Announcement List View

  1. Lulu says:

    I\’ve been looking for this solution for days. Thanks heaps for your post!!!

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