Add SharePoint Online Web-parts (Part 2)

May 6, 2012  |  No Comments  |  by Thomas   |  Blog, News

A How-To Guide for New SharePoint Admins

This is a multi-part guide. You are on Part 2: Creating SharePoint Online Web-Parts.

Click here to go back to Part 1: Creating a Teamsite Homepage.

Click here to go to the next section Part 3: Adding SharePoint Online Libraries.


Part 2: Creating SharePoint Online Web-parts

——————————— Update to Post ————————————

Note: SharePoint has been updated since this blog was posted! This means that the instructions provided through these links may not apply to the latest version. The same general ideas and concepts still apply, but specific instructions have changed. To learn more about using the most up-to-date version of SharePoint, visit our latest SharePoint Blogs, and check back soon, because we have more How-To’s, Guides, and Articles on the way!

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After the previous section of this guide, you should now be looking at a partially customized homepage for your SharePoint Online Teams. Please go to your teamsite homepage now if you are joining us in the middle.

  • Adding a documents web-part. The most basic web-part you can add is just a simple zone to upload documents. Lets do that now.
    1. Turn on editing again. If you are joining us in the middle or coming back, don’t forget to turn the page to editing mode or you can’t make changes. As a reminder: you click ‘page’ up at the top, then click ‘edit’ which will be on the far right of the bar that appears.
    2. Note: Remember not to use the back and forward buttons on your browser, as this will often erase or save changes and will turn off editing mode (if you do find yourself accidentally using the back button, turn editing back on to continue)

    3. Add a document library Now that editing is on, you’ll see the editing tools tab has appeared on the ribbon near the top. Click the ‘insert’ tab, this will change the entire ribbon to the insert buttons. From here click the button that looks like a folder and says ‘document library’. (see image below)
    4. Click Image to Enlarge

    5. Pop-up. Now you will get a pop-up asking to to name the space. Lets call it “New Hire Documents and Company Manuals”. (see image below)
    6. Click Image to Enlarge

    7. Need to move it? By default the web-part will appear where your text cursor was when you clicked ‘add document library’. Perhaps you had the cursor in the wrong place? No problem, just click on the top portion of the web-part and drag it where you want it. You’ll notice I’ve dragged it to the bottom of the ‘message from our CEO’ (see image below).
    8. Click Image to Enlarge

    9. Add a document. Adding a document is pretty darn simple. click the button that says ‘+ Add document’, and browse your computer for the right document (see image below).
    10. Click Image to Enlarge

      If you need to add multiple documents at once, you’ll see there is a button for that as well. Note that certain file types won’t upload either due to the security risk the pose or the fact that they are too large.

    11. Add a folder. You can also add a folder which can then hold more documents. To do this, select the web-part (this will bring up the options associated with that library) You’ll see at the top there is a ‘documents’ tab under ‘library tools’, click it. From there, click ‘new folder’, then name that folder and click ‘ok’ (see image below).
    12. Click Image to Enlarge

  • Adding an announcements web-part. The next thing I’m going to walk you through is how to add/customize an announcements board. This can be used for many purposes: company events, sales achievement recognition, birthday recognition or as I use it “stuff we need in the office”. Our company uses this exact tool to track employee requests for things such as Kleenex, Notepads, more coffee beans, more snacks, etc. Lets walk through that process.
    1. Insert Announcement Click the ‘insert’ tab, this will change the entire ribbon to the insert buttons. One of those buttons is a big microphone that says ‘announcements’, go ahead and click it to create a generic announcement tool. (see image below)
    2. Click Image to Enlarge

    3. Pop-up. From here you will get a pop-up text box. Type what you want to call this web-part, in our example we want to call this “Things we need for the office”. Then click ‘Ok’.
    4. Drag it where you want it. Once again it will appear by default where your text cursor was, if it isn’t in the right place, move it where you want it. When you are done. Your homepage should look something like the image below (see image).
    5. Click Image to Enlarge

    6. Customize it. Now lets make this look how we want. We can actually change the columns in the web-part. Begin by clicking the web part so that the right menus appear. Next click the tab ‘list’ which appears under the heading ‘list tools’, this will change your ribbon menu options. Now you’ll want to click the button titled ‘create column’ (see image below).
    7. Click Image to Enlarge

    8. Pop-up. This will bring up a pop-up which will need to be filled in. We will be creating a few columns: A number column to track quantity of requested item and a text column for notes on the purchase. I’ll proceed slowly as this can get confusing quickly. If you get lost, the image at the bottom captures all the directions clearly.
    9. Create Number Column In your pop-up the first section is ‘Name and Type’. Type ‘#’ as the name, and select the check box that says “Number (1,1.0,100)”. Move to the next section which is titled “additional column settings”. Here you can add details for people who are adding something to the column in the future, lets type “amount of item requested (in denomination of common bundle if relevant)”. Next you’ll see an option “require that this column contains information”, check ‘yes’. Leave the next three options (“enforce unique values”, “minimum/max”, and “number of decimal places”) as their default state. For the “Default Value” lets input ‘1’. Ignore the rest of the options for now and click scroll down to click ‘OK’ at the bottom.
    10. SharePoint Number Web-Part

      Click Image to Enlarge

    11. Updating the View for Column A You’ll notice your column isn’t visible? Did you do something wrong? Nope. What is going on is that the this homepage does not show the new ‘default view’ unless you tell it to (right now it is still reflecting the ‘standard view’). So we will need to modify the standard view to add this new column so that it is visible from the homepage (note: that this extra level of complexity likely seems insane without the context of why views are great, which we will cover later. Unfortunately, sometimes good features complicate simpler tasks, this is one of those situations).
    12. Click back on the ‘list tab’ and then click ‘modify view’ (see below).

      SharePoint Online Web-Part modification of view

      Click Image to Enlarge

      This brings up a list of all columns that are currently in that web-part (note that there were a lot that you didn’t see before, yet they existed), we are going to un-check the “attachments” option and check the “#” option. Also, lets switch it so that the “numbers” box is the second from the left. Click the drop downs and change attachments to 5, then change “#” to 2. Now you are done, don’t worry about the other options and buttons just click ‘Ok’ (see image below).

      SharePoint Web-Part View change

      Click Image to Enlarge

      Return to the home page and you should see your column (see image below).

      SharePoint Online Webpart finished changing A

      Click Image to Enlarge

    13. Adding Column B We are now going to add a simple text column. This one will go faster as we are mainly redo-ing the steps above. Note that we could have chosen to only change the view once at the end both, but I figure you need the practice and doing it twice doesn’t hurt =P.
    14. Go to ‘list’, click ‘create column’. In the pop-up, type “description” and change the type to have “multiple lines of text” checked. Don’t change anything else, scroll down and click ‘Ok’.

      Now lets add the view. Go ‘list’, then ‘modify view’. Your screen will navigate to the view page. Check the box next to “description”, and click ok (see image).

      Description View for SharePoint Web-Part

      Click Image to Enlarge

    15. Add an item. Now you need to add an item. Your web-part should look like the image below. Click “add new announcement”.
    16. Announcement on SharePoint Online Web-Part

      Click Image to Enlarge

      When you see the pop-up, you’ll notice I overlooked something, there was already a body paragraph, it just was hidden from view via the main screen. In theory we didn’t need to create a description box at all as we could have just made the body visible (Opps… I’ll walk you through fixing this in a moment). See the image below to see what I’m talking about, you’ll notice there is both a body section and a description section.

      Web Part opps in SharePoint

      Click Image to Enlarge

      So lets finish this process before we fix the mistake. Type a title for the item “Kleenex”, then change the amount from 1 to “10”, then in the description box type “I’m sick of using paper rough towels, please save us!”. Ignore the Expiry box and the Body box. Then click save (see image below).

      SharePoint and Kleenex

      Click Image to Enlarge

      Your entry should appear as seen below

      Final Web-Part Entry

      Click Image to Enlarge

    17. Fix our Error We need to delete the other two “silent” columns. Or end users will input data that doesn’t appear on the other end and will be confused. Go to ‘List’ then on the very far right you will see a button that says ‘list settings’, click that button. This will take you to the screen seen below. Under the heading ‘columns’, you’ll see all the existing columns. Click on ‘body’ to edit it (see image).
    18. SharePoint Webpart Settings

      Click Image to Enlarge

      Now you will see the options associated with that column, at the bottom you’ll see a delete button. Click it, confirm your selection, then return to the home page.

      Now if we click to add an announcement, you’ll see that the ‘body’ section is gone (see image below).

      Fixed SharePoint Web Part

      Click Image to Enlarge

  • Now we should be all done, see your final product below, if anything looks significantly different than I’d suggest re-reading to see where you went off base. You are also welcome to request some private training by calling us directly. Good luck, and proceed to Part 3 when you are ready.
  • Final SharePoint Homepage

    Click Image to Enlarge


Click here to go to the next section Part 3: Adding SharePoint Online Libraries.


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