SharePoint Designer 2013’s Missing Design View – Still

Here is a question that came in from my blog today.

My company is starting to plan to migrate to SP 2013 and I just found out that the design and split view is not included in SP Designer. This is going to be absolutely devasting for us as this is really the only way we do development. We have so many items created with XSL that I can’t imagine what we are going to do when we migrate. Can you update me on if MS has reconsidered adding that back and if not, where do I go to post my comments and to add my voice to those that are not happy?

Unfortunately, questions about the missing Design View in SharePoint Designer 2013 are fairly commonplace and sadly I have no good news. Those views are gone and as far as I know are not coming back. Any uproar that occurred due to my earlier posts like SharePoint Designer 2013′s Missing Design View – It’s Official fell on deaf ears.

I tend to write my own XSL, and one can certainly continue to do so using SharePoint Designer 2013. The Design View was always inexact, but since it was where we saw any error messages, I find that is why I miss it the most.

Display Templates – which are built of markup and script – are worth looking at, as are frameworks like Knockout or AngularJS. Yes, new things to learn, but more the way Web development is headed.

I also don’t know of anywhere to go to register complaints about this. I find that the MSDN Forums may make you feel better, but are rarely monitored by Microsoft people who can push for changes. Microsoft Connect is supposed to be the place to report bugs and give feedback, but things seem to languish there as well.

None of this is much solace for people who need to maintain existing XSL-based solutions. Bottom line: we all need to learn new tricks and/or rewrite our older XSL-based solutions.

SharePoint Designer 2013 Crashing on Open Site: The Fix

The Problem

My Office365 tenant has become half-upgraded from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. (If you want to read more of my whinging about this, checkout this thread on SPYam.)

This leaves me in the unenviable position of having to use SharePoint Designer 2013 (SPD2013) with my SharePoint 2010 Office 365 tenant. Unenviable because, as anyone who follows me even occasionally knows, the Design and Split Views are not available in SharePoint Designer 2013. That thread that I started on TechNet has over 28,000 views, so I don’t think that I’m the only one upset by this.

When I installed SPD2013 on my laptop, all went well. However, every time I tried to use the Open Site dialog, it would crash. SharePoint Designer 2010 (SPD2010) was still working fine when I accessed other 2010-based installations, but not SPD2013.

I found a fix that worked for me in the Technet forums. You may or may not want to trawl through the thread, as it is quite long. Instead, here’s the Cliff Notes version of what worked for me.

Sungmin Kim from Microsoft offered up this check.

You can repair your SPD 2010 to restore the regkey for SPD2010.

The issue might happen in case the ClientGUID of the Open Site dialog in SPD14 is the same as the one of the open site dialog in SPD 15 in a certain Side by Side environment.

(this repro’s only in a specific environment, but I couldn’t find the enviroment yet and when the GUIDs could be the same)

so I have couple of questions. Sorry to bother you, :(

1. Could you please check if ClientGUID value under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft SharePoint Designer\Settings\Open Site is the same as the ClientGUID value under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft SharePoint Designer\Settings\Open Site?

2. If the values are the same, could you please check if the crash still happens after removing both registry keys?

3. Have you ever installed any other version of SPD15 on your machine? (e.g. beta version) or any other version of SPD14?

4. if the issue still happens at #2, how about removing the registry key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComDLg32\LastVisitedPidlMRU ?

Points 1 and 2 did the trick for me. Apparently both SPD2010 and SPD2013 had the same GUID for the ClientGUID value in the registry. I had not installed any betas of SPD2013 on my laptop because I was concerned about exactly this sort of incompatibility. (I’d limited my use of SPD2013 to launching it inside virtual machines.)

The Fix

If you have this problem and want to fix it, here are the steps.

Open the Registry Editor. You can do this by going to the Start menu (I’m still a Windows 7 stalwart, so I can’t vouch for how this might work on Windows 8), choosing “Run”, and typing “regedit” in the Open: box.

Look for the keys:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft SharePoint Designer\Settings\Open Site


HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Open Find\Microsoft SharePoint Designer\Settings\Open Site

In my case, they were identical, as shown below.

SharePoint Designer 2010 (14.0)


SharePoint Designer 2013 (15.0)


Delete both of the ClientGUID keys. You can do this by highlighting the key and hitting the Delete key or right clicking and choosing Delete.

Once I had deleted these two registry keys, I was able to open sites in both versions of SharePoint Designer with no problems.

Unfortunately, the two versions of SharePoint Designer seem to use the same recent sites list, so I see the same Recent Sites in both versions. This is going to make it confusing when I am trying to figure out which site to open. Now I’m a three SharePoint Designer version guy, as I’m still using SPD2007 and SPD2010 for client work in addition to SPD2013. Yeesh.