SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) Item-Level Formatting

When a data view web part is created in SharePoint Designer 2010, there is a new way of formatting list items.  In the SharePoint list’s data view web part, at the item level, there are two options that can be selected, as shown in this screenshot:


  • Show list item menu
  • Show link to item

Now, I’ll go into what each of these mean, and how to use them.

Show list item menu

First of all, what is the “list item menu”?  That’s the menu that shows as a drop-down box on each item in a SharePoint list.  Out of box, each list has a default field that this drop-down box displays on, which is typically the “Title” field.  If you’ve ever created a custom list, you will have noticed this default field.  It’s been pretty limited in the past, as seen in the following SharePoint 2007 example:


This list was created as a custom list, and the Title field was renamed as the Patient Name.  In views, this field is the only one that can be displayed with the “edit menu”, as seen below:


This field is also restricted in that it can only be a single line of text field, with the field type being hard coded.

Flash forward to SharePoint 2010…

Pick ANY field in the data view, select it, click the little chevron next to it, and put a check box next to “show list item menu”.  There can even be multiple fields in the same view, with this edit menu attached to them.  Gone are the days where that one specific field has to be used in the view, just to get the menu on it.

Show Link To Item

The option to Show Link To Item, is just an easy way of creating a link to open that list item.  In this video, I show the old SharePoint 2007 way of creating a hyperlink to an item in the data view web part.  With this new option, simply select the check-box, and the link to the display form is created, with no further configuration necessary.  This can be done on multiple fields in the same view.

What happened to the data view field options that used to exist on the menu for an item in a data view web part, as it was in SharePoint 2007 (as in this screenshot)?


You’ll miss this menu in SharePoint Designer 2010 (Beta) but here’s how you can find it:

Right-click on the list item, choose format item as, and then choose the desired format type.  If the hyperlink needs to be configured to direct to an item link other than the display form (I showed you how to do that one the quick way by using “show link to item”), there are also more hyperlink options here.



  • Thanks for this – in Foundation / Designer I only have “Text”, “Label” and “Hyperlink to” in the menu: the Hyperlink option is missing. Any idea why, or is there any other way I can access this option? Context – I am trying to make a simple link to the document from another column – rather than the DisplayForm or the EditForm. The “Show Link to Item” xsl:value-of doesn’t work as it opens the properties for the document rather than the document itself. Thanks!

  • Peter, You may want to try the “old school” data view web part instead of the new XSLT list view web part to accomplish this. When creating the new DVWP, on the insert tab in SPD, in the “data view” drop-down, click “empty data view”. Then pick your library and do it the way it was done in 2007, like this


    RE: What happened to the data view field options that used to exist on the menu for an item in a data view web part, as it was in SharePoint 2007 (as in this screenshot)? This is the first site I’ve come upon that has this info…thanks so much! I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out how to format the date/time field in SPD 2010! As in your picture, you could select a formatting option for dates. Is this gone? Is there another way to do this? thanks!

  • Maybe the same issue is talking about, but I have some trouble with the DateTime formattting. I can’t choose this format: DD/MM/YYYY. These 11 are the only options given: 9/12/2011 Monday, September 12, 2011 9/12/11 09/12/11 09/12/2011 11/09/12 2011-09-12 12-Sep-11 September 12, 2011 Monday, 12 September, 2011 12 September, 2011 The Data View Web Part is working perfectly well, exept this formatting problem. I hope someone can help.

  • Joyce, Yes, unfortunately they removed it, so now you must have XSLT knowledge to be able to format as a date. Ridiculous, I know. A dvwp (as opposed to xslt) will still give you the old school interface, though. Here’s the difference:

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