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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.

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