Category Archives: Portals and Collaboration

Recreating tile view using Display Templates

A new feature of 2013 are the metro-style tiles. Every new team site has them as a banner on the homepage.


To create your own tiles you are limited to the promoted links app or the Announcement Tiles feature. I wanted the ability to use the tiles in my search results and other areas as needed. I have create a display template that will allow you to just that, with any type of content within SharePoint. The solution consists of 3 parts:

  • Display Template
  • JavaScript file (Used for moving panel on mouse-over events)
  • CSS file for rendering the tile correctly.


Let’s get started…..

First we need to get our code and place them in their respective areas. Attached you will find the 3 files needed for this display template:

    • Item_HorizontalTiles.html
    • Item_VeritcalTiles.html
    • Tiles.css
    • Tiles.js

The item templates (Veritcal/Horizontal) need to be placed in your site collection display templates folder. The path is _Catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Content Web Parts/. The easiest way to do this, if you are not familiar with display templates is using the Designer manager via the site gear. When you drop these files SharePoint will automatically create a linked <name>.js file. This file contains all the JavaScript that is outlined in the display template.


Next, we need to place our CSS and JS files. I have placed mine in the /Style Library/CSS and /Style Library/JS respectively. You don’t have to place the files in this location. However, if you choose to put them somewhere else you will need to update the $includeScript and $includeCSS path in the display template HTML file.


Information about the template

The template renders a tile similar to one you use with promoted links and announcements tiles. It allows to you to map the following fields:

    • LinkURL (Auto Do Not Change)
    • PictureURL (Automatically pulls the most common managed properties for images)
    • Title (Title of the tile – First Line)
    • Description (Description of the tile – Second line onmouseover)


These fields can be mapped using the Content By Search web part when the display template is selected (See below)


As you can see I am setting this first search to return people:

image image


We could also change our query to return documents:

image        image


We could show announcements:

image image

Note: If you just added the ‘Rollup Image’ column to your announcements, the tile would show your image on the tile as well.


We can show article pages:

image image


As you can see, with the tile we can view any type of content we want. The HTML display template is easy enough to tailor this to any specific need or specific content that you would like. It is not necessarily a one-size-fits-all but it is a good start.

Source Files:


Announcement Tiles

While working in an Office 365 tenant the other day I came across a site feature called Announcement Tiles. Curious, I tried to activate the feature and received an error that the feature is not supported in my version. I assumed this was probably because my tenant had not yet received the quarterly bits yet. However, after checking I found this. This feature has to be used on the My Site Host.

Next, I activated the feature via the my site host. This created a new web part and added it to my home page. The web part gives you the ability, as an admin, to create an announcement:


After you click on edit you are presented with this screen.


From here you have the typical List/Items tabs to create a new item. Then you are given a new announcement forms that looks like the new promoted links app.


Once your new item is created your my site host will show a tile representing the announcement.

 image  image 

For organizations looking to direct users to their One Drive as their start page, this can be a nice visual tool to show important announcements. The overall appearance it almost identical to promoted links.

Note: I have checked an on premises farm that is running SP1. This feature is not available so this is a cloud first feature.

Stay tuned for a display template that can replicate this appearance for any SharePoint item.


Accessing SharePoint Online Content Through QR Codes

Recently Microsoft made an update to SharePoint to help with allowing mobile to quickly access documents from SharePoint online. They added the ability to access a QR Code that will take you directly to the select document.

You can access the QR Code by going into the Open Menu (ellipsis) associated to a document within the SharePoint online environment. Within the menu you will now see a Mobile icon that will allow you to access the QR Code.


QR Code

Once this has been selected you will receive the QR Code link to the document. This information can then be embedded and distributed as needed.

QR Code 2

If you have not heard, Microsoft is leading with making changes to the SharePoint online environment before releasing them to on-premise. So it will be interesting if this is one of those features that will eventually be released.