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Hack: Data View Web Parts in SharePoint 2013

If you noticed that the design view doesn’t exist anymore in SharePoint Designer 2013, here is a hack that I figured out, which lets you create data view web parts for your SharePoint 2013 site.

Note that this is most likely NOT supported by Microsoft.  This is just one way that I figured out, so if you really need to create data view web parts, and you’re not a developer, you may want to try this as a very funky workaround.

  1. Create an empty document library in your SharePoint 2013 site, which will be the temporary holding place for web part creation.  I just called mine “Web Part Pages”.
  2. Open your SharePoint 2013 site in SharePoint Designer 2010.
  3. Click the little pin icon next to All Files on the left.  That will put a tree view of the site on the left.
  4. Right click on your new library, and choose New –> ASPX.
  5. Give your file a name, like test.aspx. Double click the file to open it, and click Edit File.
  6. Yes, open the page in advanced mode.
  7. On the Insert tab, choose Web part zone.  Then, on the Insert tab, choose the Data View drop-down and choose Empty data view.
  8. Click on Click here to select a data source (in the middle of the page), and choose your list, library or whatever.  I’ll choose Tasks.  Click OK.
  9. On the right, in the data source details pane, select the fields you need, and click Insert Fields as, and choose Multiple Item View.
  10. There, now you can do whatever you need to do with your data view web part, etc, and get it how you want it.  This is the page that you will go back to in order to make any needed changes.
  11. On the Web Part tab in the ribbon, click To File.  Save this .webpart file to your computer, and just remember where.
  12. Open your site in the browser, and go to the page on which you would like to place your web part.  With the page in edit mode, click the Page tab, and the Insert tab.  Click Web Part.
  13. On the left side, under the web part categories, click the Browse… button under Upload a web part.  Browse to that .webpart file you saved at step 11.  Click Upload.
  14. Now you’ll have to click to insert a web part again, and this time you’ll see it in the Imported Web Parts category.  Click Add to add the web part to your page.

Now that this is done, again, any changes you make will have to be in that temporary aspx page that you created.  IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MASTER PAGE.  The key is that I did not attach a master page to my blank aspx page.  I tried to find a way to edit existing views, by attaching the v4.master page and trying to make changes before re-attaching the v15.master.  That did not work out.  Anyway, let me know what you guys think.  I know it takes a few extra clicks, but at least DVWPs are doable.

Also, check out my Data View Web Part Videos for more info and cool stuff you can do with the DVWP.


Thanks for all of your comments below.  You’re right, apparently they locked it down:

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