Hiding the Recently Modified Section in SharePoint 2010

Applies To: SharePoint 2010, CSS

I recently added a Wiki Pages Library to a site for some end users and they really like it. However, they had a seemingly straight forward request to hide the Recently Modified section that was showing up above the Quick Launch:

This may come up as a requirement when using some of the default templates that automatically include a Site Pages library or if a user adds a new page and is prompted to create the Site Pages library automatically.

I assumed there was a setting somewhere either for the library or the site in order to turn off this “feature”. Nope. Somebody decided that this was not only a feature everyone would want, but it was so great they put it in the left actions content place holder (PlaceHolderLeftActions) of the master page – which puts it on top of the quick launch.

Some quick searching turned up “solutions” that suggested setting the contentplaceholder’s visible property to false within the master page. This works; however, it also hides anything that uses that contentplaceholder such as some of the Blog tools. This makes it a very poor candidate for a farm wide branding solution.

The other option is to use some CSS (cascading style sheets). If you’re pushing this as part of a branding solution, just add this to one of your style sheets:

.s4-recentchanges{
	display:none;
}

That’s it. Microsoft provided a very handy class just for this section and some quick use of the CSS Display property takes care of it.

So what if this is just a one off thing – You aren’t currently using any custom branding or just want it to affect one site? For a single site you can use SharePoint Designer 2010 to open the master page (v4.master – choose edit in advanced mode). Then somewhere on the page add the following:

<style>
.s4-recentchanges{
	display:none;
}
</style>

If you just want to apply it page by page, you can put the style directly in the HTML of the page. Since this is a Wiki page, choose to edit the page (Under the Page Ribbon assuming you have the rights). Click anywhere on the page and choose the HTML drop down and pick Edit HTML Source:

Somewhere on the page add the following:

<style>
.s4-recentchanges{
	display:none;
}
</style>
You can also do this in a content editor web part using the same Edit HTML Source option.

If you don’t hide this thing, I would suggest editing the master page to at least move that contentplaceholder below the quicklaunch so your navigation doesn’t get all wonky or at least displaced by a relatively unused feature.

Intermittent “Unable to display this Web Part” messages

Applies To: SharePoint 2010

I few months ago I customized a view in SharePoint designer to turn the due date red for any past due items in the list. The end users really liked this but an obnoxious problem started turning up. Seemingly randomly we would get:

Unable to display this Web Part. To troubleshoot the problem, open this Web page in a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation-compatible HTML editor such as Microsoft SharePoint Designer. If the problem persists, contact your Web server administrator.

Correlation ID: Some GUID

Taking a look through our logs didn’t reveal anything and often a refresh or two would solve the problem. So it wasn’t really stopping business but it was pretty annoying. Adjusting the logging settings we finally saw some messages corresponding to the provided Correlation ID and found the issue was Value did not fall into expected range often followed by Stack Overflow exceptions.

Unfortunately the above error message is so generic it was pretty difficult to find anyone else even having the same problem, let alone the solution. Finally I came across this thread on MSDN discussing the exact issue. Instructions for fixing the problem and the background of this issue can be found on this article on Englando’s Blog. The solution presented was to get a hotfix from Microsoft. Fortunately, that is no longer necessary and the fix is provided in the February 2012 Cumulative Update from Microsoft.

The problem was introduced in the June 2011 Cumulative Update when Microsoft reduced the timeout for XSLT transformation (used whenever you customize a view in SharePoint Designer) from 5 seconds to 1 second. This is a good idea for public facing farms to help mitigate Denial of Service attacks but pretty unnecessary for internal farms like the one I was working on.

The timeout causes modified XSLTListView Web Parts and XSLTDataView Web Parts to sometimes show the “Unable to display this Web Part” errors. This is especially true if you have several columns (more transformation) or are doing anything of even mild complexity. The issue was “fixed” in the August 2011 Cumulative Update but broken again in the December 2011 Cumulative Update.

To fix this issue we installed the February 2012 Cumulative Update on our farm (More about our experiences with this update to follow). Keep in mind, however, that the update does not change the XsltTransformTimeOut but merely provides you the ability to do so using PowerShell.

To check your current timeout settings, simply use the following PowerShell:

$myfarm = Get-SPFarm
$myfarm.XsltTransformTimeOut

If you’re experiencing the above problem, you probably got a 1 back from the above command indicating that the timeout is currently set to 1 second. To set it to a more reasonable value (we choose the original 5 seconds) just do this (assuming you set the $myfarm object using the above powershell):

$myfarm.XsltTransformTimeOut = 5
$myfarm.Update()

That’s it, things are happy again.