How to: make your SharePoint Content Search Web Part results open as a fancybox or “lightbox”

If you worked with the content search web part you probably know that it has several rendering templates available: List, List with Paging, Slideshow
All of these will show you just that: a list which will take you to a page where the content is coming from.
In my case, my customer wanted to see the result right on the page where they user is at, in other words – have a fancybox or lightbox show the content like this:

fancybox CSWP

Let’s take a look how this can be achieved with minimal effort.
First of, I’ll be using SharePoint Online tenant to demo this but same assumptions can be applied for on premises SP2013.

1. Add a CSWP to the page … easy 🙂
2. Download free fancybox plugin (this is the last place I’ve seen it:
2.1 This might be obvious but be aware that fancybox is using jQuery so you’ll need to download and reference jQuery in your masterpage in order for the fancybox to work – so yea, just making sure you’ve done that.
3. Extract the contents of the ZIP and upload the contents of the source directory which looks like this:

fancybox source content

To your style library, in my case: /Style Library/Assets/scripts/fancybox

3.1 Make sure you check in all of these file otherwise they will appear not found to any other users except you and that will break the functionality.
3.2 Also make sure you reference fancybox in your masterpage just below jquery as follows (make sure the URLs match your structure):

<script type="text/javascript" src="<asp:Literal runat='server' Text='<%$SPUrl:~sitecollection/Style Library/assets/scripts/fancybox/jquery.fancybox.js%>' />"></script>
<SharePoint:CssRegistration Name="<%$SPUrl:~sitecollection/Style Library/assets/scripts/fancybox/jquery.fancybox.css%>" runat="server" />

3. Open your site in SharePoint Designer and navigate to: All files/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Content Web Parts

4. Make a copy of Item_TwoLines.html and rename newly copied file to something else, in my case it’s Item_Fancybox.html

5. Check out the new file, open Item_Fancybox.html and add the following content to it:

5.1 Find this section
<title>Two lines</title>

and replace it with

5.2 Find this section
<div id="TwoLines">

and replace it with
<div id="FancyboxLines">

5.3 Find this piece of code in the “FancyboxLines” section
var line2Id = encodedId + "line2";

and add the following chunk of code right below it

$('.fancybox').fancybox(); // fancybox

This section here basically initializes the fancybox UI with some of the parameters

5.4 Find the following piece of HTML
<div class="cbs-Item" id="_#= containerId =#_" data-displaytemplate="Item2Lines"<

Here is the picture to clarify:

html output to replace

and replace the entire div with it’s whole content with the following piece:

<dd class="fancyboxItem">
<a href="#content-div-_#= pictureLinkId =#_" class="fancybox">_#= $htmlEncode(line1.defaultValueRenderer(line1)) =#_</a>
<div style="display: none;">
<div id="content-div-_#= pictureLinkId =#_">
<p><strong>_#= $htmlEncode(line1.defaultValueRenderer(line1)) =#_</strong></p>
<p>_#= $htmlEncode(line2.defaultValueRenderer(line2)) =#_</p>
<div style="clear:both"></div>

This section here maps line1 and line2 from the web part properties to the structure in the fancybox.
This section here: <div style="display: none;"> is really the content that will appear in the fancybox flyout so if you need to display any other content for example the author name – you can output it there provided you get a hold of it through properties mapped to the CSWP.

6. Check in and publish your Item_Fancybox.html

7. Navigate back to your site and add a new (or use existing) instance of the Content Search Web Part.
7.1 Make sure that both Line 1 and Line 2 properties are mapped to correct fields so that you get the data you need displayed in a fancybox. Also, above example uses both Line 1 and Line 2 – so you must associate both of the drop downs otherwise you will get an error due to my poor error handling in this example code 🙂

8. In the web part properties, change the rendering template for the Item to Fancybox as shown below:

fancybox rendering style

9. Save the web part properties and the page and ….


example facybox CSWP


Important steps to take if you’re running multilingual variations in SharePoint Online

The other day I described an issue where all of your Web Designer Galleries disappear. That article also suggested how to address this issue but the solution was short terms for me as I got the same problem next morning exactly at 10AM, and the morning after, and after … luckily I was able to “fix” the issue with my handy PowerShell script I wrote in the previous post. But what is the root cause?!?!?!

Well, the root cause is this;

-My site is running English and French variations
-This created two sub sites under root, one for English and one for French

The key to further discovery was the fact that the issue occurred exactly at the same time, therefore it must be a timer job.

Then someone sent me this article: Turn scripting capabilities on and off

Which basically says that there is this new cool feature allowing you to disable whole bunch of authoring functionality on the site with a simple toggle. It also says that this runs as a scheduled process every 24 hours.

You guessed it … I went down and turned off the default setting and things didn’t break the next morning.

1. Go to Admin Center | Settings:


2. Next turn off the Self-Service-Created sites toggle to “Allow”

step 2

Turns out that variation sites are Self-Service-Created sites and this settings messes them up. So, we’re down to either not using this new setting or not using variations. Well there is always an option for MS to fix the issue – but I’m not going to hold my breath for that – however, I have reported the issue to Premier Support so we might be getting some action.


Want to update your SharePoint app site logo without code?

With SharePoint 2013 and SPO, you get apps and often apps have their app site.
When you update your site custom look – all the apps get the same look and feel, there is just one problem – the logo you update on the root site doesn’t get updated on the app site.

Here is my custom logo on the root site:

main site logo

Here is how does one of the app site look like:

app site logo

There is no settings menu to change that but here is what works:

1. Navigate to the root of your site and click on “Title, Logo ….” under “Look and Feel”
2. Copy the URL of the settings page (second part as shown below) … /_layouts/15/prjsetng.aspx

app url

3. Change the logo on the page there and save the settings, result ….

new logo on the app site

Now your apps match your site, duh 😉


Quickly turning your Content Query Web Part display into a jQuery tabs

In summary, the goal is to turn something that looks like this:

content query default display

to this:

jquery tab links

There are many ways to do it, and I very deliberately said “quickly” in the title of this post, implying that you won’t need to mock around XSL of the Content Query Web Part.

Here are the steps:

1. First we’ll create a list which is going to hold our data

The list data structure will be:

  • Title – Single line of text
  • Link Description – Single line of text
  • Link Grouping – Single line of text
  • Link – Hyperlink or Picture

Here is how this list looks like, hopefully yours is more useful than my list of cities:
list of cities

2. Next, we add a Content Query Web Part to the Page with the following configuration:

  • Source set to my list
  • link source

  • Grouping set of my special column which holds groups (countries)
  • link grouping

  • Display are defaults with few columns you may want to display
  • renderign columns

3. Save the configuration and verify that your display looks similar to this:

content query default display

4. Add a Script Editor Web Part on the page where your content query resides with the following code in it:

<link rel="stylesheet"

<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>
$(function() {
var tabCount = 0;
$(".dfwp-item div.groupheader").each(function() {
$("#tabs ul").append("<li><a href='#tabs-"+tabCount+"'>" + $(this).text

$("#tabs").append("<div id='tabs-"+tabCount+"'>"+"<p>"+$(this).parent

tabCount = tabCount+1;

<div id="tabs">

5. Save the web part and the page and ….

jquery tab links

6. If you want to be a good practices developer – you need to download jQuery tabs and upload jquery and jquery ui artifacts into the library on your SharePoint site rather than referencing them as I did from …

What the code above does is that it takes the content of the Content Query Web Part and wires it into tabs; then hides the original CQWP content.

There, wasn’t that easy?