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SharePoint WIKI Templates

Written By: Knox Cameron -- 1/6/2011 -- join -- contribute -- (143) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Design, MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, WSS3

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Problem

Wiki libraries are a great way for people to share "free form" information with their team and wider audiences. They includes features such as letting you easily create new pages simply by creating a "forward" link to a page name that doesn't exist yet, as well as letting you review changes made over a page's history, and checking for "incoming links" to a page.

SharePoint's wikis are basic but functional. Some of the features SharePoint leaves out, such as text formatting markup, is not required because SharePoint's native functionality is better. Plus you have other SharePoint functionality not typically found in wikis such as web parts, lists and libraries, metadata and so on.

The problem is that they can be a bit too "free form": if you create a new page, it's always blank. Often, it would be nice to create pages with a standard layout to show the user what information to include. For example, you might create a wiki library to hold pages for team members to share status information about each active project. It would be good to have a standard layout with the project name and manager at the top of each page. However, users have to know to add that information each time they create a new page.

Unfortunately, there is no system of templates for wiki pages in SharePoint. Not even in SharePoint 2010, where wiki pages have become the default page type for non-publishing sites. There are some add-ons available to provide that kind of functionality, such as the community kit in CodePlex, but they require installation of components on the server.

Solution

In this tip, we will show two solutions based on client-side JavaScript code. The first is a solution for SharePoint 2007 (WSS 3) that creates a new page and copies the content from an existing page into it. The second is a solution for SharePoint (Foundation) 2010 that uses the same remote commands as SharePoint Designer to make a complete copy of an existing page.

Both of these solutions can be implemented as-is by an administrator without programming knowledge. However, programming knowledge would let you adapt and enhance the solutions, and would be useful if you need to troubleshoot issues.

Either solution could be used to support multiple templates - just follow the steps again in the same or a different library.

SharePoint 2007 - copy content

For this solution, you will need to find some internal information about the page that comes up when you create a new wiki page. To get this, you will need a tool like the Internet Explorer Developer's Toolbar, available as a free add-on for Internet Explorer up to version 7 (Download details: Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar), but available as a standard component in Internet Explorer 8 (press F12 to activate it). For FireFox, an equivalent tool is Firebug.

The steps are:

Get a copy of the URL of the page that comes up if you select the option to create a new page in the wiki library. Copy it from the address bar of the browser into a NotePad file. It looks something like:

http://www.yourhost.com/sitename/_layouts/CreateWebPage.aspx?List={GUID}&RootFolderUrl=/sitename/Wiki Pages

Use the Internet Explorer Developer's Toolbar (or equivalent) to get a copy of the IDs of the page name field (an html INPUT control) and page body field (an html IFRAME) on the CreateWebPage.aspx page.

  • Open the toolbar then select the toolbar option to Select Element by Click

IE toolbar options

  • In the page, click on the Name field. It will be highlighted with a blue border.

Selecting page name field

  • In the developer toolbar, find the id property, select it and copy it to NotePad

Properties of name field in developer toolbar

  • Repeat the same process to select the page body field. In the toolbar, you will see that the iFrame that contains it is above it in the hierarchy. Select the iFrame, then copy the id into NotePad as before.

Body field properties

Properties of containing iFrame

Create the page with "template" content.

In the source (HTML) view of the page body content, put the tag <div id=TemplateText> at the start of the template content, and </div> at the end, to mark the content to be copied to the new page, for example:

HTML source of template text in wiki page

Select Edit Page from the Site Actions menu (not the wiki "edit" link) and add a content editor web part to the web part zone at the bottom of the template page.

Open the properties of the content editor web part, and select the button to edit the source.

Copy and paste the below script.

<hr/> 
<P>To create a new project page, press the <em>Create project</em> 
button below.</P> 
<P>This will run a script that opens a new browser window for the new 
project page, then copies the template text into the new project page.</P> 
<P>Give the new project page an appropriate name, then edit the body 
of the page as required. Save the new page when you have finished. 
When you are ready to publish the project page, add a link to it onto 
the home page of the wiki.</P> 
<script type="text/javascript" language="javascript"> 

var oNewWindow; 

function CreateProject() 
{ 
var sURL = "PUT_CREATE_PAGE_URL_HERE" 
oNewWindow = window.open(sURL); 

window.setTimeout("SetData();",3000); 
} 

function SetData() 
{ 
while (oNewWindow.document.readyState != "complete") 
{ 
} 

var control = document.getElementById('TemplateText'); 

if (control == null) 
{ 
alert('ERROR template content not found'); 
} 
else 
{ 
var controlValue = control.innerHTML; 

var NameField = 
 oNewWindow.document.getElementById('PUT_PAGE_NAME_FIELD_ID_HERE'); 
NameField.value='{Project_Short_Name}'; 
var TextiFrame = 
 oNewWindow.document.getElementById('PUT_PAGE_BODY_IFRAME_ID_HERE'); 
TextiFrame.Document.body.innerHTML=controlValue; 
} 
} 
</script> 
<input id="AutoButton" type="button" value="Create project" 
onclick="CreateProject();" />

Replace the page creation URL, page name field ID and page body field ID in the script with the values for your environment, which are saved in your NotePad file.

Save the changes, and save the page. Then test!

Body of template wiki page

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