Slinger's Thoughts

December 22, 2008

Remove “Common Tasks” from Explorer view.

Filed under: SharePoint — slingeronline @ 10:24 am

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written.  We have been very busy here with a network infrastructure upgrade that has been very demanding. We also have an office move coming up so it might be a bit before I write again.  I haven’t gone away though. 

We ran into an issue recently where our external users needed to be able to download multiple files at once. (I don’t know why, but our internal users demanded it.)  After thinking about it for a bit, It occurred to me that the explorer view may be exactly what they need.  So I opened up our site, and checked to see if it would work for a Forms based user.  Not initially, but after turning on client integration in Central Admin, our FBA users could access the Explorer view.  I checked what it looked like for our internal users and I ran into a problem…

Our internal users could use explorer view as well, but were presented with a few more options.  On the left hand side of the pane, there was the “Common Tasks” tool bar.  You know the one.  Navigate to a folder on your hard drive like “My Documents” and on the left hand side you see a blue bar with a few different options there, like some quick launch navigation links to a few different places, some common folder tasks like “create a new folder.”  Well this just won’t do, since our end users are intent on using folders and recreating a structure that is more folder than file making it impossible for anyone to find anything.  I had to hide this little gem from our end users so that they wouldn’t be tempted to use it.  You can hide the “New Folder” option in advanced settings in a document library, but that doesn’t do any good when a user can almost instantly bypass the setting by changing their view.  After sending an e-mail to a SharePoint support group that I adore for their experience, I got an answer.  There are two ways to solve this dilemma; one is a per document library setting, and one is a farm wide setting.  For my needs I went with farm wide, but I will tell you how to do both.  The simple answer is that you can use some javascript to hide that bar, since the explorer view is rendered with some javascript anyway.

To edit the view for one document library, open the webfldr.aspx file for that document library in SharePoint designer.  Inside the <ListViewXml> tag are a few javascript functions.  At the end of the “navtoframe2” function, you’ll need to add a little bit of code. There is a line that shows the following;


immediately after this add the following code


it should all be one line.  Save the file, and then open the explorer view in your document library.  That side panel should not be visible anymore.  (It is actually still there, it is just hidden behind the quicklaunch area, and is inaccessible.)  Great!  But if you have 1,000 document libraries on your site you’re going to be doing a lot of editing.  So how do we implement this change for all document libraries?  For this one we still need our SharePoint designer, but we cannot access the file remotely, as it is buried in the 12 hive of your SharePoint server.  Go to C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\Pages and open the webfldr.aspx file there.  You will notice that this file doesn’t have a navtoframe2 function.  That’s ok.  We are going to add that same line of code at the end of the “navtoframe” element, and everything will work just fine.  (It should be line 17, if you’re wondering.)  Go ahead an add document.getElementById(“expFrame”).style.marginLeft=”-210px”; behind the closing bracket on the line, and then check any document library in your site in explorer view.  Same end result.  No common tasks area in the display.  It’s not the most secure, I know, and there may be a glitch or two with it, and there is probably a better way, but this should work as a quick fix for that issue. 

Many thanks to the users at the yahoo sharepoint group for their help and input on getting this solution.


1 Comment »

  1. Very useful research.
    I found we have many in common about our work, please contact me at your ease.

    Comment by Zhang Mingquan — December 29, 2008 @ 3:28 am

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