Organizing and Managing Promoted Links (Tiles)

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Promoted Links list in SharePoint are very popular, and I see a lot of customers creating them in many places in their sites, giving each page a nice, modern appearance with pretty clickable tiles.  In this post, I’ll show you a way I’ve devised to keep them organized and managed in one list for a site, so that they can easily be displayed on multiple pages on the site, without the need for creating multiple promoted links lists for different purposes.  The idea is that we will create one Promoted Links list called “Tiles”, and create an extra column (multi-select choice) called Show On, where we can set the values of the pages that we want each tile to be displayed on.  This can be done in Office 365, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint 2016.

  1. Create a Promoted Links list on your site, called Tiles. (Click Add an App, and choose Promoted Links, then name it “Tiles”)
  2. Decide what your pretty tile icons will be.  I usually just upload them all to the already existing “Site Assets” library.  I usually use Metro Studio to create mine.  As you create each tile, this is how you will get the URL for each icon, to use it as the background image for each tile.
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  3. Go to your new Tiles list.  In the Items tab in the ribbon, click the List tab in the ribbon, and click the Create Column button.  Name it Show On, make it a Choice column, and choose Checkboxes (allow multiple selections).  Type the names of the different pages on your site where you may want to display these tiles.  In this case, it’s an HR site, and there are pages such as Home, Training, and Benefits.
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  4. Still in your Tiles list, go to the Items tab in the ribbon, and click to create a new item.  Add all of your tiles, and for Show On, check the boxes next to the page or pages that you’d like each tile to appear on.
  5. In your Tiles list, from the List tab, go to the All Promoted Links view.  Modify it so that you include the new Show On column.  I usually also like to add the Edit column, so it’s quicker to get in there and edit existing items.
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  6. Create at least one filtered view for these tiles, filtered on Show On. This part is important, because without a filtered view already created, some future steps won’t work.  When you click Create View, you have to select Standard View.  For Sort By, select Order.  In this example, I’m creating a filtered view for all of the items that will show on the home page, so my view is called Home, and Show On will equal Home.  For the filter, Show On is equal to Home.  Don’t worry that it’s multiple selection, even if you have other items selected besides home, the filter will work correctly.
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  7. The last step is to place this Tiles list as a web part on each of your pages, such as Home, Training, and Benefits.  If you haven’t created the pages besides Home yet, use the gear at the top right, and Add a Page to create each one.  When you click to add/insert a web part on your page, choose Tiles.
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  8. The web part will show all tiles by default.  Go to the web part properties toolpane, and you’ll notice that there is no button to Edit Current View, like you usually see in a list web part.  This is why we created the filtered view at step 6.  In the Selected View drop-down, choose the name of the filtered view you created. Mine is called Home.  Click OK to the warning, and click OK at the bottom of the web part toolpane.

 

From now on, when you need to add or edit the tiles that show on pages, all you have to do is go to the Tiles list, and the All Promoted Links view, and edit them from there, and you won’t have to edit all of those individual pages, and you won’t need a bunch of separate tiles lists.

Notice that the next time you go into the web part properties, the Edit the current view option DOES show there now.  So, now you have the ability to go in and change the view settings or filter if need be.  Go to each of your other pages, and follow steps 7 and 8 again.  Here is a pretty screenshot of an example of a promoted links list:

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A few side notes:

  • You may be wondering why I didn’t create the Show On field as a lookup to the Pages or Site Pages library, instead of having to keep up with a choice field with the page names.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First of all, the name of the page doesn’t show as a field you can pick from when creating the lookup.  Second of all, with a lookup it won’t allow you to have multiple select.
  • You may be wondering about the Order field.  You can use numbers of course, to order the items, just keep in mind that they will show in that order on each page, sorted by the order field.  So a caveat is that it may not work out if you want some certain icon to show first on one page, and last on another page, because the order depends on what other tiles are showing there and its relation to them in the numbering scheme.
  • Do you get frustrated when site users want to create tiles for every single list and library on your site? It seems redundant, right? I agree, but IF you want to hand pick your own pretty icons to represent each of those lists, this seems to be the only way.  Alternately, if you’d like to use a more efficient way, this blog post by Kameron Berget shows a great way to use the content search web part, and have the results show appearing as a list of promoted links!

10 comments

  • Excellent Blog. Great time saver. Thank you

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  • This is great. Thanks for posting.

    Ideally though I want to use these steps above but then add a choice filter on a page to display the relevant Promoted Links according to the options entered in “Show On”

    But I can’t seem to associate a Choice Filter Web Part to the Promoted Links list (Tiles view). Is there a way to do this?

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    • Hi Frosty, that’s a great idea, I see what you mean. I’ve successfully connected a current user filter web part to the promoted links, but sorry, I’ve never tried the choice filter. Maybe that needs to entail JavaScript instead, I’m not sure.

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  • Thanks for sharing this post!

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  • Is there any way to do this for sub sites?

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  • Hi,

    This is a fab article and has helped significantly with organising my tiles. There’s one further step that I’d like to implement, but I’ve not managed to find an answer. I’d like to colour the background automatically, based on a column attribute.

    I’ve found lots of scripting methods of colouring the tiles, but not based on an attribute. Any help / thoughts on this would be great.

    Thanks
    Graham

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  • Hi Laura,
    I get how to get the URL using the classic library view, but I’m struggling with the new library experience view. Is there an easy way to get the image URL from the new experience or are we eagerly awaiting for MS to add this feature back? It is causing my end users a lot of grief as they have no knowledge of URL structures so adding the image name to a path is not a skill they would have.

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