Customizing a Survey

You boffs out there will recognize the pains of providing a quick POC for a customer requirement without developing a fully fledged solution. Ok so here goes. You wanna provide customization to a survey without going full code. For example, in my requirement (Office 365 Implementation), I wanted to add a ‘response’ column to a survey which does not behave like a normal list (naughty naughty!) . This column would store a response to the answer to the survey by means of a workflow on that survey. (There was only one question in the survey as the answers needed to be anonymous and this is near impossible without full code to any list because of the default columns: Created by and Modified by). So the user answers that one question, the workflow kicks off to collect feedback from the manager or approved person who can respond to it, and then the workflow fills the response column of the survey with the response . Simples hey? lol

Ok So here are the cheats for customizing a survey:

Create New View:

  • Open the new view page of any list in your SharePoint site, and copy the URL to a notepad.
  • Open  survey settings page, and from the URL copy the List ID. (List=%7Bxxxxxxxx%2Dxxxx%2Dxxxx%2Dxxxx%2Dxxxxxxxxxxxx%7D).
  • Replace the list name to the last of the URL with the survey list name.

Copy the modified URL to a new browser window, and you are done, you will be now in the ‘Create View’ page of your Survey List. Create the view as you wish here……….

Create A New Column:

Same the way you did for survey view, copy the new column page url (/_layouts/fldNew.aspx?ListID)

  • Replace the ListID with the survey list ID and you are done.


Modify View:

  • In order to perform the modify view of the newly created view as per the steps above, just add your list as a webpart to any SharePoint page.
  • In the modify shared webpart option, select the view which you want to edit in the Selected View and  select the option ‘Edit the current view’.

As with all hacks, save a copy in case you break anything and regularly back up your servers. If you’re on Office 365, Microsoft got your back!



Problems moving web parts when editing Home / Default Pages of Team Sites in SharePoint 2013

A client came to me with a strange issue. They were trying to edit the home page of their team site, the default page to us techies! They were trying to move web parts from one zone to another on the home page. They were unable to drag and drop the web part or even edit the properties of that web part to change the zone. The option was greyed out. After some digging I came up with this…

In SP2013 When you create a team site, the home page is a wiki page by default. You should be able to move web parts by on pages usually by Editing (Page tab > Edit) then drag/dropping the web parts to where you’d like them to go, or by editing the web part properties and changing the zone there.
The OOTB wiki page does not have web part zones, but instead you can choose a “Text Layout” to arrange your page as desired. So if there are no zones in the wiki page, there won’t be the option to drag and drop the web parts to different zones, and the zone change option will be greyed out in the edit web part menu.
By default, when creating a team site the wiki home page feature is activated. To resolve the issue, I deactivated this feature, went back to the site in question, created a new home page based on a different layout, e.g. blank web part page. And I added some web parts to the pages, saved and checked it in. I then edited the page and was able to drag and drop web parts to move them as well as to edit the properties of the web part and change the zone there. All sorted, so might make a mental note to change the default page from a wiki page to a web part page before customizing with a new team site.