SharePoint News Ticker

SharePoint List Driven News Ticker

I have written about making a News Ticker before but it looks like the code is not working anymore so why not make something better. News tickers are a great way to show a lot of information in a small space and they look much better than an annoucements web part. For this example I established a few ground rules.

  • Content will be pulled from a custom SharePoint list.
  • When clicked the items will open in a dialog window
  • The ticker will pause on hover and have controls so users can scroll through the news items

A Better Annoucements Ticker

A while back I did a post about how to make a vertical news ticker, in the comments several people pointed out problems with the code so I decided to write a better version of the code. Here it is.

New Ticker

For this ticker I started out with a default Annoucements list. Because I wanted to display a thumbnail for each annoucement I added a signle line of text column called Subtitle and a Picture column called Picture. Here are the columns I used.
List Columns

Switch Themes Without a Page Refresh: Part 2

So in part one of this post we got all the CSS and other theme file we needed to stuck them in a document library.

With JavaScript you can change the CSS file a page uses without requiring a page refresh.  I have used this technique many times on non-SharePoint sites but there are some special challenges implementing this in SharePoint.  Most of the scripts I have used in the past use the alternate style sheet method as describred by A List Apart here. That method works fine but I had to find another way because I was already using that script to allow users to change the font size. After some research I found this script from CSS Newbie that worked pretty well without using alternate style sheets.

The problem

While the script works just fine on regular HTML pages it cause problems in SharePoint here is why :


This line of code basically finds all the linked CSS files in the page and changes thier value to point to the new style sheet you select.  This is fine on a site that just uses one CSS file but in SharePoint bad things happen.  In most cases we dont want to completely remove the reference to core.css. For most themes many elements don’t need to be changed so we only have to write the CSS to change them and let core.css do the rest.  If you remove core.css its like using a global reset (discussed in more detail here) which means you will have to restyle everything.  So them point is we want to leave core.css in the page and just add our theme.

To do this I had to make some changes to the master page to create to interface users will use to swap themes.

Switch Themes Without a Page Refresh: Part 1

Many sites offer the ability for users to change the color and style of the site to fit their preference.  SharePoint has this feature to some extend through themes but changing themes is not a very simple process and requires browsing to several pages.

With JavaScript you can change the CSS file a page uses without requiring a page refresh.  I have used this technique many times on non-SharePoint sites but there are some special challenges implementing this in SharePoint.  For this solution there were several requirements.

  • Users need to be able to switch themes and have the setting saved
  • No page refresh
  • Should be able to use both out of the box themes and custom themes

So first I needed to get the CSS files and images for the themes I wanted to use.  When you assign a theme to a site all the files for the theme are copied to a folder named _themes in the root of the site.

_themes folder

So what I did was assign each theme I wanted to use to the site one at a time.  With SharePoint designer I copied the files folders for each theme into a document library called Site Styles.  Each folder contains all the resources needed or the theme to work. 

Print Stylesheet for List Views

Hides everything except the list and the breadcrumbs. More posts coming later this week.

*{ background-image:none; /* remove all background images */ }
.ms-sbcell, /* search box at top of page */
.ms-topnavContainer, /*horizontal nav container */
img, /*images */
.ms-globalbreadcrumb, /*breadcrumbs */
.ms-titleareaframe, /* page image */
.ms-siteactionsmenu, /*site actions menu */
.ms-pagemargin, /* left margin beside quick launch*/
.ms-quickLaunch, /* quick launch menu */
.ms-sitetitle, /* name name */
.ms-menutoolbar, /* list tool bar */
.ms-pagetitle /* page title */
{ display:none; visibility:hidden; /*width:0px; height:0px;*/
.ms-pagetitleareaframe table {
position:absolute; top:1px;
.ms-bodyareaframe { /*remove border around main content*/

Improving #SharePoint Forms

Over the next few weeks I will be writing a series of posts on how to improve the out of the box SharePoint forms by using simple CSS and jQuery solutions.  These solutions will help improve usability as well as enhance the look and feel.  Look for the first post later this week.

As a point of reference this is what we will be starting with.

Standard SharePoint Form

Stay tuned for more soon.

status icon

Hiding the user presence icon

When you are using a data view web part to display information including a person field SharePoint always shows the status icon beside thier name.

status icon

status icon

In some cases this is exactly what you want and can be very useful. But sometimes you just want to show a name and nothing else. With most fields you can just change the formatting options to change the display. If you choose to format the value as text SharePoint spits out this long html string.

<nobr><span><A HREF="/sites/site/_layouts/userdisp.aspx?ID=2">Cavins, David R</A><img border="0" height="1" width="3" src="/_layouts/images/blank.gif"/><a href='javascript:' onclick='IMNImageOnClick();return false;' class='ms-imnlink'><img name='imnmark' title='' border='0' height='12' width='12' src='/_layouts/images/blank.gif' alt='No presence information' sip='' id='imn_8,type=sip'/></a></span></nobr>

Format as

Each of the other formatting options also provides un-desirable results.
Using some basic CSS we can get rid of the status icon and format the text so it does not look like a hyperlink. First wrap the field value in an element with a class. I used a span with a class of “person”

<span class=”person”>
<xsl:value-of select="@Author" />

Then just add this css to the page.

.person nobr span a {

If you want to take it a step further you can use jQuery to remove the ‘href’ attribute. Using jQuery we can target the container with the link in it and then change the href value.

$('span.person a').removeAttr('href');