Change the color of modern views

I got a question from a customer who did not want the red, purple, pink, green etc colors in the modern views in SharePoint on Office365. It seems like each subsite gets their own colors, and how can you change that to one color that matches the company’s graphic profile?

 

Pressed F12 to get the developer tools and deselected the bg color that was in a class called something with theme.. and then the default blue color showed up. So this color theme comes from an actual theme on the site. I have never chosen a theme, but decided to check out if any settings where applied anyway.

First I opened the link “Theme” in Site settings, and removed any folders from there. Did not change anything.

Then I opened Site settings > Change the look and selected the Office Default Theme. No change.

To see the connection between the site and its modern view colors:

Click on “SharePoint”, the tile in the app launcher. There you can see the pattern. The colors comes from the icons there. It matches, I got the pink color and purple color on these two sites when I open the modern views. I am stuck here, there is no settings that I have found that can change these colors.

 

Conclusion:

If you don’t want these random colors, make the following changes (below). Note that this will NOT affect the sites that are already created.

  • Follow my steps above to remove any old Themes
  • Click on the “Office” default theme in “Change the look” so that is really added
  • You can check the “Prevent users from overrriding..” in Admin Center and it will still add the new sites in default blue theme

Now all your site icons in “SharePoint” and the modern view colors will be the default blue:

Modern libraries Part 3

This is the 3rd part of my articles about functionalites that I find annoying or confusing or that simply are gone in SharePoint Online/Office 365. I have two more things on my list:

  1. When you want to filter a view, there are many clicks to get to the actual values you want to filter on. In former versions it was just one click, then the dropdown with values came up. Now you must click (and aim on that flyout can be difficult.. :)) and then click again to see the values.
     It does work in Edit mode though, that menu looks the same as it does in former versions:

    Also, not sure if you can multi-select in this drop down menu. Otherwise you have to click the Filter symbol up in the right corner of the view and open that panel where you can multi-select.

  2. When you have a view Grouped by a value, then the “Quick Edit” button is gone from the document library menu, which is really annoying (because it’s just not efficient anymore). And these things makes people hesitate a bit to work with SharePoint (I know, I hear it all the time from customers!):

    You must click to change to a view that is not grouped, then click Quick Edit, and then you can tag your documents. This used to work in grouped views, in SharePoint 2010 it worked so I don’t know why it has been removed. To workaround this, I have added a link in the left side menu called “Quick Edit” and that links to a new view that I set to open directly in edit mode (you can create a view that opens in edit mode directly) which saves even more clicks for them.

More thoughts on Modern libraries in SharePoint on Office 365

One of my current assignments as a SharePoint consultant is to train users how to work more efficient with document management. It’s quite a challenge, as users mostly are against using metadata, first because they don’t understand it and second because they are used to folders which is of course much more easy but not so efficient and modern. Once you get them to understand the benefits of using metadata they start seeing the possibilities and power of it. But it’s a change of behavior for the users, and it takes some time for them to get into it. My only goal is to help users use SharePoint in the most efficient way and make it easy for them to organize and find their documents.

I have spent a lot of time lately on a customers Office 365 intranet to help them organize and restructure their documents and I found some annoying things and maybe some of them are actual bugs. Also, there are too many clicks involved and don’t we want to reduce that and not increase clicks?! Anyway, thought I wanted to share them here and maybe someone out there has an answer, solution or explanation.

Note: this list is based on SharePoint in Office 365, not on prem servers.

  1. First on my list is a thing that is really annoying, but I know it’s not fixable since it is a new “feature”. You cannot right click on documents to Copy Shortcut anymore. Oh that is so f-ing annoying. I do that all the time, it’s like deep down in your browser behaviour that you forget you can’t. Instead you have to do the “get a link” and then select if the user should have Read + login, Modify + login, Read -login, Modify – login…. Sigh. Why. It is TOO much security and not healthy for the heart!!! And the links is ugly, does not give a hint what it’s about, it’s just a long gui or something.
  2. When you have selected a document in a library and you open the “i” panel to add metadata – the fields in the “i” panel kind of “jumps” or moves a bit so it is hard to focus on them. I don’t like this feature, it’s slow, jumpy and hard to fill in. It’s also a long way to get out of the panel, click the “i” again and then deselect the document. It’s just not a good and user friendly UI.
  3. I miss the “Settings” link when you are in a document library and want to customize it. Now you have to click on “Site contents” in the left menu and then select the library and click the “…” dots and then click on “Settings”. That is a loooong way to go. I want the “Settings” link back!
  4. PDF files and metadata. My customer needed to move an entire library from one site to another. That is not possible through the UI. The “Content and Structure” does not allow move of libraries. So you must first create a template of the library and setup that on the new site (so that all metadata follows) and then you can use “Content and Structure” to select all docs and move them into the new library. That is quite okey, but of course there is a but and it can be a BIG BUT 😉 because if the files are PDF’s the metadata will not follow. Just beacuse it’s Adobe and not Microsoft. It’s just stupid. We are trying to do our daily job and we need good tools for that and these kind of bugs, errors, annoying shit makes us lose patience with the products and users will do it in another way instead.
  5. The Content Query web part is buggy. It works best with IE. But if you use Edge, it will not add the URL to a site or site coll or library in the query field. You must paste it manually. Something I miss with it is also the possibility to group query by Document Library. For instance, I have added a web part that will show all Archived documents on the site, and they are stored in different libraries. So I would like to organize my documents by library, but that is not possible, only by Site. A missing feature.
  6. When you upload a document that already exists in the library you will notice (or NOT! until some time….) in the menu bar that a message is displayed with a red cross saying that “1 items was not uploaded” which is a bit misleading and makes you think something is wrong with the document, until you actually click the message and then it says “a file already exists…” and you can replace it. Not so good UI again… And when the replace is done, you would want that panel to disappear but no, you must click on the X to close it. Annoying, too much clicking and inefficient.
  7. It can be painfully slow to work with SharePoint on O365. Just is.
  8. The customer has a start page on their intranet, but the “new” look top navigation cannot display that link. It says “Page cannot be found“. So no home page is allowed?
  9. “Tiles” versus “list”. How can you control that the tiles are not shown when you open a library? I mean that should be an option that the user makes, not by default. Because: it takes time to load, it is totally messy and you don’t get an overview of your documents and you don’t see your tags. The only time tiles are good is when it comes to pictures. Then I understand why it’s there. But not for documents. I have not found a setting for it, so I wonder if this is something that the browser remembers, like how it was set the last time and then it opens in that mode per user? So that means that I think the library opens in “List” mode but it really opens in “Tiles” when another user opens it for the first time?
  10. This last one is actually the same for ALL SharePoint versions, no matter on prem or cloud, and it should be known for most of the people who uses SharePoint for document storage. And that is: The field “Title” is not in sync with “Name”. And that gives you headache! Because: the Title field is used to display search results, and if that is empty, SP will display the document name. And if the document has a title then the title will be shown in the search result instead of the document name. WHY are there two fields with the same functionality?! And one is filled in but not the other! I have always thought about adding a workflow that simply copies the text in Name to the Title field, but then you must add that to each library and we all know what that will cost in performance, errors in workflows, not possible to achieve even. It’s just bad UI.

 

Thoughts on Modern libraries in SharePoint on Office 365

So this new look has been rolled out last week in SharePoint online for Office 365 users. At first glance it looks great, I like that “hard-to-find” ribbon is gone and easy access to all buttons.

But then I got a call yesterday from a customer who was asking why their document libraries no longer worked as expected. What had happened was that the “Group by” function no longer worked correctly, as the First level grouping was hidden and the Second level was instead displaying all documents. Which led to big confusion for the users of course.

Grouped views displays documents by their second level, not first!

Is this a BUG or change of standard functionality? Grouped views has been in the product as far as I can remember (I have worked with your products since 2003 and document library features has not changed that much). Why change something so basic that has been in the product for so long, don’t the developers at Office365/SharePoint/MS (who knows) think we are using these functions or why??

I noticed that if you change view from “All documents” (which is the default view in document libraries, untouched!) to the “Tiles”, then the grouping works but its still not smooth, it is very much clicking around and you soon get lost on where you are in the library. It shows first level one and if you click on that level you can see level two but you must click back and forth. It’s just not good enough! It’s messy!

There has always been an option to Group documents in two levels (maximum) and now this is obviously removed in SharePoint online (I have tested back and forth and this is what I found), so you can only have 1 level of grouped documents. And yes it would be acceptable if this now is the case and all documents were grouped and displayed by that First level but NO, they are now grouped and displayed by the Second level so we have to go in to each library and REMOVE that second level so that the first level is showing our documents, WTF!!!:

groupedbynolonger

Don’t the developer teams follow their own “best practices” and test these type of scenarios?? I mean, before rolling out a new critical function like this? They don’t think this feature is implemented on intranets and document management systems out there?? Well then they have not seen many real live intranets because I see it a LOT!!

I have always followed the OOB standard and educated people telling them how important it is to follow Microsoft recommendations and use metadata instead of folders, to easily find and filter documents and that search picks up metadata etc. And one thing I have learned from all the years of working very closely to the organizations is that “people want structure“. They can’t handle when you just dump thousands of docs in one library and say “use the columns to filter”. No, they want to organize the documents so it looks like folders, although its metadata. And that magic could happen with the “Group by” function. Yes, you can have one level now in the new “modern libraries” but then the button “Quick Edit” is gone so “win some loose some”. So again. Not acceptable.

Quick Edit not visible on Grouped views

And why isn’t such important functions like “Quick Edit” visible on Grouped views? Come on!!! It was the same already in the on-prem 2013 product on grouped views so I guess this is something that is programmatically hard to achieve (?) but should that be OUR problem? As a workaround I have always had to build own “Edit” views so the users can do this fast and easy (fake it til you make it right?). We want to be able to work fast and easy, not click so many times that you forgot what you were doing on the way there… Yes they can select a document and use the i-button and the task pane etc… But what if they want to use the fantastic “QuickEdit” view to update several documents at the same time?

Button for “Open with explorer”

Yes, this function that users love! Is this gone now, really? Wow. I will not miss it but I know who will…

So questions to Microsoft:

  1. Is there going to be an update to this new library feature so that the Groupings will work on 2 levels again? Or if not, will you correct the BUG that it shows level 2 now and not level 1.
  2. Will the Quick Edit button be visible for Grouped views also?
  3. I never recommend to use this but users LOVE the “Open with explorer” and is that gone also?

Situations like this really makes me question why I am working with this product, because we have to struggle so hard to make users understand how to work properly with SharePoint  and not only use it as a file share, (yes that is very common out there) but to really discover all the great functionality with SharePoint document management. But it’s tiresome when standard functionality changes and all of a sudden you doubt the things you have claimed were good and best practice.