Monday, December 13, 2010

Configure Links Web Part to Open URLs In a New Window With SharePoint 2010

With SharePoint 2010 (or SharePoint Foundation 2010) you can customize list views using XSLT, which is very powerful and for simple changes also quite simple. Here is an example of how to make URLs in Links list web part open up pages in a new browser window.

Links web part as well as other list-based web parts uses a predefined list view to render its content. Since views are now defined using XSLT style sheets, all that is needed to control the HTML is to override appropriate XSLT template with a custom one that has HTML markup that we need, for example <a href=”….” target=”_blank”>. List web part’s edit mode panel contains a text field titled XSL Link under Miscellaneous category where you can provide a URL of an XSLT file, which will override default rendering behavior.

Let’s say we have a Links list with a few URLs in it and we have added a Links web part to a page. We want to have all links shown by the web part open up in a new window. We need to find an XSLT template which describes rendering of the field with a link. One easy way to determine this is to sort by the URL field then take a note of the value of SortField query string value, which tells us that the field name we need is URLNoMenu. URL field is not a part of default view, default view has a URL (URL with edit menu) column, so you would need to add a column titled URL. As shown in the picture below, I’ve added my own view “Only Url” to Links list with this field only and set the web part to use this view.


Now we need to find an XSLT template for the URLNoMenu field.  Out-Of-The-Box templates are stored under the 14 hive in TEMPLATE\LAYOUTS\XSL on server file system. For what we need there are 2 important files there: main.xsl and fldtypes.xsl. The former file is a default file used for formatting, which imports other XSLT files including fldtypes.xsl. The latter file is the one which contains many templates for rendering different fields. Doing search inside this file for URLNoMenu yields:

<xsl:template name="FieldRef_URLNoMenu_body" ddwrt:dvt_mode="body" match ="FieldRef[@Name='URLNoMenu']" mode="Computed_body">

Next we copy this template XML element and put it in a new XSLT file. I named mine TargetBlank.xsl. Inside the new file we change HTML anchor tag to include target=”_blank” (or anything else we need) and save the file. Once we specify URL to this new file in the XSL Link field of a web part being edited, it will override all default formatting, therefore we also need to make sure that other templates still apply. Thanks to XSL import and overriding mechanism this is easy to do, we just need to import main.xsl file, and our version of the FieldRef_URLNoMenu_body template will override the one located inside fldtypes.xsl. Here is the complete listing of the TargetBlank.xsl.

<xsl:stylesheet xmlns:x="" 
exclude-result-prefixes="xsl msxsl ddwrt"
<xsl:import href="/_layouts/xsl/main.xsl"/>
<xsl:output method="html" indent="no"/>
<xsl:template name="FieldRef_URLNoMenu_body"
match ="FieldRef[@Name='URLNoMenu']"
<xsl:param name="thisNode" select="."/>
<xsl:variable name="url" select="$thisNode/@URL" />
<xsl:variable name="desc" select="$thisNode/@URL.desc" />
<xsl:when test="$url=''">
<xsl:value-of select="$desc" />
<xsl:when test="@Format='Image'">
<img onfocus="OnLink(this)" src="{$url}" alt="{$desc}" />
<a onfocus="OnLink(this)" href="{$url}" target="_blank">
<xsl:when test="$desc=''">
<xsl:value-of select="$url" />
<xsl:value-of select="$desc" />

In this file the xsl:stylesheet element is copied from the main.xsl file. Also note the xsl:import and the xsl:output statements. Lastly we need to upload the XSLT file and reference its URL in the XSL Link field of our web part. That’s all there is to it. Our links should now open in a new browser window.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! But simple and easiest solution is: Create a Site column of "Hyperlink with formatting and constraints for publishing" type and add it in your list, which enables you to specify "Open in New Window" Option!

    There are few more possible solutions, including JavaScript, JQuery, SharePoint Designer, List Schema Edit to make SharePoint Link list open in new window at -

    SharePoint Link list: Open in a New Window