All right stop! Collaborate and listen (Sharing Points)

December 23, 2008

Merry Xmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 9:42 pm

Merry Xmas and all and thanks to my readers and commenters. Drive safe dont drink and drive.

And hopefully next year will be one of changes for me as I have some ideas and thoughts about work I am going to try and realise.

August 22, 2008

Managing Folders in Sharepoint lists

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — stephenmuller @ 12:55 am

Off the cuff I dont like using folders in SharePoint lists at all, I activley encourage my clients not to use them and to leverage metadata instead as this allows views to be flexible, but we can debate this another day.

I have one client that has an image library with many folders in it grouping the data sort of…. The task of moving all the images into a structure without folders was going to be a long process as there were lots of images. We made an image tag list to allow them to tag an image with mulitple tags so they can be searched and filtered. But it was the folders were making the use of these tags almost impossible.

But there is a trick that allows the folders to be ignored and to present all the images in a single flat structure. Its in the view configuration. When creating a view there is a folder section and a check box that allows all items to be displayed without the folders.

So now all the views for the display all the images in all the folders without displaying the folders.

Very handy. Many people may already be using this, but if your not and you dont want to worry about folders then you should.

On a side note about the Image library and the latest Infrastructre update there is a bug. Brian Farnhill has more here!AEC42F315B4528B0!2974.entry

July 17, 2008

Using the DIP and Quick Parts with Office Pt 2

Filed under: Infopath, MOSS, Office 2007, Sharepoint, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — stephenmuller @ 3:52 am

Ok so in the last post i blabbed how to start to make some changes to the DIP to make a user friendly mechanism for users to edit and add metadata. Users dont like doing this so making it easy and friendly is advisable :).

That last action on the last post was to make a filtered drop down to make it simple for users to select the correct data from a lookup. As we know it is not possible to add filters to dropdowns in Sharepoint, there are 3rd parties that allow you to connect lookups in a master/child relationship in Sharepoint, I will link to them later. But his can easily be done in InfoPath by expanding on the steps that I have shown.

The next steps will be to make it prettyier (im not a designer as you will see) and to add the Quick Parts feature from Office 2007.

Finishing Touches

The next thing I want to do is add some text and a picture (thanks to Ishai on this as he pointed out a way to add an unbound picture to the DIP).

To add the picture I simply selected the Picture Icon on the toolbar.  I selected the picture and it inserted as per the image.


I guess the standard disclaimers need to be added here, be aware of the size of the image as it will impact the times of download.

This image would perhaps be your corporate logo or something more relevant than a Calvin & Hobbes picture.

Next is the layout and fonts. This is done simply by dragging and dropping and typing in the text and formatting it as per normal InfoPath functions.

I did this by using tables and my poor imagination. Note how I added tips for each field etc. After these changes are made click the Publish button and save and publish the document.

Now to test it, create a document library in a site, allow it to use content types and select the Project Overview document.

When the New Project Overview menu is selected the new document will appear, it looks kind of like this.

There thats all that. If you had problems please contact me, I made a lot of assumptions in the process so if I missed some key steps let me know.

Using the Quick Parts

Quick Parts is a feature in Word 2007. It allows a field to be added to the document that is linked to a document property or blocks of text called building blocks. We are only interested in the Document properties.

The feature is accessed from the Insert menu from Word 2007 as seen below

To demonstrate this keep the word document that you opened above.

Select the Quick Parts menu option then Document Property (note how all the fields are listed here including the SharePoint ones) I then selected Project Name, this drops a control onto the document as per below and then make a label for it.


I then created the Project Type and Project Manager, and formatted it a little nicer.

This image shows all the fields on the form as well as the dropdown for the Project Type.

There are a few thing to note. When the field is a lookup or list the field on the form will operate as a dropdown. You will also notice that it will use the value that has been selected in the DIP in the field, when you change the value in the field on the document the value in the DIP will also change. This shows that the two fields are linked.

This means that we can now add fields to a document template for the user to fill out and that will automatically populate the metadata for the document, so the users only need to fill the data in once. 

This document can now be saved as a template and uploaded back into the template for the content type so it can be used again and again.

Done….Did this make sense.


Ok in these two posts I hope I have shown how to make changes to The DIP to make a user friendly interface for users to add the additional metadata that they may need to add for a document. Smarts can be created with the fields to filter the data choices to the correct values. This is something that can only be done by 3rd party tools within SharePoint (or custom development).

By linking these fields into the actual document template via the Quick Parts we can save the user having to re-type the fields while still keeping a corporate template for the document.

All of this in my eyes is purely to assist the end user by making an easy and intuitive interface where they can quickly add the additional metadata for a document. Something I have said to many clients is that users are generaly happy to spend the time to add in more information than they are used to if it is easy AND there is a clear benefit to them ie, quicker access in locating that document or sharing it with other users. I think these tools can be used to help make that happen.


Over and out.

May 2, 2008

Blog name change

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 1:20 pm

Given some advice yesterday I have decided to change my blog title…..

Thanks Sean for the way cool idea….

Ring any bells (the title)…

March 26, 2008

Im in heaven

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 12:47 pm

There is nothing, I repeat nothing better than Popcorn..

my work mates love this on my mobile, different tune every week..Hoorah….

March 5, 2008

Seperate Document Windows in Office 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — stephenmuller @ 4:10 am

This is call out for some help.

 I want to have two seperate word docs running side by side (I have a dual monitor) so I can copy and or compare the two. Before I could im sure in Office 2003. Now I cant in 2007..I want to…

I found a link that shows me how to have them as seperate icons in the task bar but they still run in an a single MDI.

Does this make sense and does anyone have a switch that I need to flick? Im sure it is simple. Help…..

December 23, 2006

Xmas and all that

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 1:44 am

Merry Xmas all and a happy new year.

 Im starting a new job with a different company..and hopefully there will be a good focus on Sharepoint (MOSS) and workflow. I hope to be more active on this blog as I have been bust BA’ing lately.

Merry Xmas all and thanks for reading. Drive safley.

October 13, 2006

the coolest toy Computer Assisted Black Board….

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 12:35 am

This is very off topic but it is so cool. 

 I need to have this. I wonder if you could have it on a tablet PC. It looks very fun.

August 4, 2006

Beware – The Naboo Email Scam

Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 12:39 am

This is way off topic but it is was funny.

Well Done Bill

July 12, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — stephenmuller @ 11:28 pm

Ohh and Im off to teched. So if you see a guy looking lost and bewildered say Hi it will be me.

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