Finding the Elusive ‘Set Up Groups for this Site’ Page

When you create a new subsite In SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online (Office 365), you have the option to use the same permissions as the parent site or use unique permissions.

Use unique permissions

Use unique permissions

If you use unique permissions, you’re taken to a page where you can set up the special groups for the subsite.

Set Up Groups for this Site

Set Up Groups for this Site

Generally, this is a “set it and forget it” page; once you’ve done what you need to do here, you rarely need to go back to the page.

However, sometimes you may decide that you’ve been too granular or not granular enough when you set the groups up. In that case, you may want to go back to the page and change the settings.

Unfortunately, the page is hard to find unless you know exactly where it is. Unless I’m missing it, there’s no navigation option to get back there in the UI. The fact that I can’t find it says that it’s at least too obscure.

If you need to get back to the page, navigate to your subsite and append this to the end of the URL:

So, for example, if your URL is

it would become

This is another one of those posts I’m doing so I can find the answer on my own blog the next time. I hope it helps you, too!

UseSimpleRendering in a SharePoint 2010 Navigation Menu

Heather Waterman and I were talking about some stuff today (Name dropper, you say? Absolutely!) and she pointed out an interesting little trick with an SharePoint:AspMenu control.

SharePoint:AspMenu controls are used in SharePoint to dynamically create navigational elements like the top navigation tabs. In SharePoint 2007, those tabs were rendered as pretty complicated TABLE constructs, and you didn’t have a lot of choice about it. Many a designer lamented this, wanting nice, clean unordered lists (UL) to work with instead.

Well, in SharePoint 2010, the navigation elements are rendered as unordered lists, just like everyone’s wanted for years. Everyone’s happy, right? Well, apparently that may not be the case because the SharePoint:AspMenu control in SharePoint 2010 now has property called UseSimpleRendering which you can use to basically revert that behavior back to the more standard ASP.NET TABLE-based elements.

By default, UseSimpleRendering is set to true in SharePoint 2010, as shown in the highlighted line below.

<SharePoint:AspMenu
  ID="TopNavigationMenuV4"
  Runat="server"
  EnableViewState="true"
  DataSourceID="topSiteMap"
  UseSimpleRendering="true"
  AccessKey="<%$Resources:wss,navigation_accesskey%>"
  UseSeparateCss="false"
  Orientation="Horizontal"
  StaticDisplayLevels="1"
  MaximumDynamicDisplayLevels="1"
  SkipLinkText=""
  CssClass="ms-topNavContainer">
  <StaticMenuItemStyle CssClass="ms-topnav" ItemSpacing="0px"/>
  <StaticSelectedStyle CssClass="ms-topnavselected" />
  <StaticHoverStyle CssClass="ms-topNavHover" />
  <DynamicMenuStyle  BackColor="#fff" BorderColor="#E8E8E4" BorderWidth="1px"/>
  <DynamicMenuItemStyle CssClass="ms-topNavFlyOuts"/>
  <DynamicHoverStyle CssClass="ms-topNavFlyOutsHover"/>
  <DynamicSelectedStyle CssClass="ms-topNavFlyOutsSelected"/>
</SharePoint:AspMenu>

This renders markup for the top nav which looks something like this:

<DIV id=zz15_TopNavigationMenuV4 class=ms-topNavContainer>
  <DIV class="menu horizontal menu-horizontal">
    <UL class="root static">
      <LI class="static selected">
        <A accessKey=1 class="static selected menu-item" title="Home Page" href="/Pages/default.aspx">
          <SPAN class=additional-background>
            <SPAN class=menu-item-text>Home</SPAN>
            <SPAN class=ms-hidden>Currently selected</SPAN>
          </SPAN>
        </A>
      </LI>
    ...

Don’t like that newfangled markup that everyone’s been clamoring for? Hey, switch UseSimpleRendering to false and you can go back to the bad ole days.

<TABLE id=zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4 class="ms-topNavContainer zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_2" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0><TBODY>
  <TR>
    <TD id=zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4n0 onmouseover=Menu_HoverStatic(this) title="Home Page" onkeyup=Menu_Key(this) onmouseout=Menu_Unhover(this)>
      <TABLE class="ms-topnav zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_4 ms-topnavselected zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_9" border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" hoverClass="zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_13 ms-topNavHover">
        <TBODY>
          <TR>
            <TD style="WHITE-SPACE: nowrap">
              <A accessKey=1 style="BORDER-BOTTOM-STYLE: none; BORDER-RIGHT-STYLE: none; BORDER-TOP-STYLE: none; FONT-SIZE: 1em; BORDER-LEFT-STYLE: none" class="zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_1 ms-topnav zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_3 ms-topnavselected zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_8" href="/Pages/default.aspx" hoverHyperLinkClass="zz1_TopNavigationMenuV4_12 ms-topNavHover">Home</A>
            </TD>
          </TR>
        </TBODY>
      </TABLE>
    </TD>
  ...

Guess what else this means. Guessed yet? No? Well, it means that there are two sets of CSS classes: one for the “simple” markup, and one for the traditional ASP.NET aproach. Be sure to keep ’em in synch if you’re switching back and forth.

SharePoint Navigation Settings Error: ‘The page has been modified by another author on…’

If you try to make changes to your site’s navigation settings and get the error ‘The page has been modified by another author on…’ with the date and time that you just tried to make the changes, there’s a fairly quick fix.  Apparently this is a known issue that Microsoft has on its list to fix.

  1. Go to the site’s Navigation configuration page (http://[servername]/[sitepath]//_layouts/AreaNavigationSettings.aspx) and make a list of content headers that have been corrupted.  Look in the ‘Selected Item’ box at the bottom under Navigation and check the URL for each content header (Documents, Discussions, Lists, etc.).  If it is very long with lots of duplicated code (BaseType=n multiple times, etc.), it is one of the problems.  Don’t try to save, just click Cancel.
  2. Go to View All Site Content (http://[servername]/[sitepath]/_layouts/viewlsts.aspx). Click on each of the lists in the content sections that have problems, then Settings, [List Type] Settings, Title Description and Navigation.  Change “Display this document library on the Quick Launch?”  to No.
  3. Open SharePoint Designer and go to the Web Site view.  At the bottom of the Web Site view screen, choose the Navigation option.  Delete the corrupted content heading link(s).
  4. Back on the SharePoint site, go to View All Site Content, click on the unlinked lists from step 2 and re-link them to the Quick Launch.

While you are looking at the navigation, be sure to change all of the absolute URLs (those which contain ‘http://[servername]’) to relative links by removing the server information.  If you ever change your DNS entries or try to move the site to another server, the absolute links won’t go where you want.  In general, always use absolute links!