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Using SharePoint Designer 2010 to Add Custom Buttons

by | Jun 21, 2011 | Case Management, Design, ECM Industry, SharePoint | 0 comments

Sharepoint Designer  2010 provides a great quick way to add simple actions to your SharePoint application.

I have a project that I wanted to add a couple buttons that would allow the user to navigate away from a “Drop-Off” library to the libraries where files are directed by my content organizer rules. So, without thought to SP Designer I opened my Visual Studio 2010 and commenced to coding. The great thing about building your buttons in Visual Studio is the flexibility you have – but being so flexible means you have to build a lot even if you only want a little!

In this instance I only wanted my buttons in one library. Using Visual Studio S2010 you start with an elements.xml file. Unfortunately the elements file can only point to a “type,” not a specific library or list. So, even though I only wanted to see my buttons in my “Drop Off” document library, all the document libraries would also display the buttons. You can certainly get around that by omitting the type and buttons and code them in or setting visibility, but I haven’t done that myself so I was less interested in getting the coding right and figuring out where to insert the coding.

Enter SharePoint Designer 2010. It provides an easy nterface for creating custom actions that aren’t complex. You can create buttons that will navigate to a form, initiate a workflow, or navigate to a URL. Even better, it only applies to the document library or list where you are adding the custom action – exactly what I wanted!

You can certainly add an image to your button – this was something I overlooked initially and was driving me crazy that I “couldn’t” add a button image! Well, of course you can add an image. Just move that scrollbar down on the side of the “Create Custom Action” screen to get to the “Advanced custome action options” – duh!

So, a couple limitations right off:

  • You can’t create tabs, groups, or context groups with SP Designer so far as I can see
  • SP Designer placed my buttons in the “Manage” group of the “Documents” tab. There does not appear to be anyway to direct your buttons to a specific ribbon group or tab that you might prefer.

In this case the SP Designer provided all the functionality I needed and saved me time I would have spent coding, testing, and deploying!

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