Not able to view result while building Search Query

Hello SharePointers ;),

Here is another quick finding which I just thought should be shared to save someone precious time. If you are dealing with SharePoint 2013 search and Result sources, you must try to test the query template before saving it. If you are not able to see any results instead just a red error saying below text don’t get scared I have quick solution for you.

“The Search display templates are not present on this site collection. To add them, you need to activate the “Search Server Web Parts and Templates” feature on the Site Collection Features page.

Display Error: The display template had an error. You can correct it by fixing the template or by changing the display template used in either the Web Part properties or Result Types.

Template ‘~sitecollection/_Catalogs/masterpage/DisplayTemplates/System/Control_QueryBuilderPreview.js’ not found or has sytax errors. (Load Template: ) ”


You must get frustrated because your search is properly configured, its crawling the data and you are able to see results while searching.  After looking at what was missing I found that in fact there was a feature missing on the Central Administration site collection. The feature is called Search WebParts.

But its not so quick that you just navigate to Site collection feature and activate it. As this feature is present at central admin site collection level so it requires extra privileges to activate it. To fix the problem, simply run the following command in an elevated SharePoint Management Shell:

Enable-SPFeature SearchWebParts -url http://<central admin url>

Bingo!! Just, re-open the “build your query” page, and everything should work properly!


Hope that post was able to help you. Please press like button it that saved your time.

Happy SharePointing 🙂

CSS Trick: Create tag icon with dynamic text width using Pure CSS

Hi Guys,

If you are searching for a tag icon which can be used to show few keywords on any page. Then this is the place where you can find a very simple trick to generate it with in few minutes. The icon created using this CSS trick has feature that it can take dynamic width based upon the text width. Below image is the example how it will rendered:


Tag Icon


Click here for the Demo.


Pure CSS post tags uses at least 2 CSS tricks such as CSS triangles and CSS circles. For CSS triangles you need to manipulate borders of an element that has zero height and width. CSS circle is simpler. All you need is a square element with rounded corners set to at least half the size of the element. The border radius will then merge into a circle.



I usually markup tags with unordered list. So the markup is fairly simple:

<ul class="tags">

In the CSS part :before and :after pseudo elements will do the rest of the trick and style them to achieve the styling look like a tag.


I am placing the tags list at the bottom of the post element with adjusting ULs absolute position


Height (and line-height) of the list item LI. Also few margins and padding and some rounded corners on the right hand side.

.tags li{
	float: left;
        height: 24px;
        line-height: 24px;
        position: relative;
        font-size: 11px;
        margin: 2px 5px 2px 12px;
        padding: 0 10px 0 12px;
        background: #0078d7;
        color: #fff;
        text-decoration: none;
        -moz-border-radius-bottomright: 4px;
        -webkit-border-bottom-right-radius: 4px;
        border-bottom-right-radius: 4px;
        -moz-border-radius-topright: 4px;
        -webkit-border-top-right-radius: 4px;
        border-top-right-radius: 4px;

To achieve the pointed edge we are adding a :before pseudo-element. The element has the width and height set to zero, that way we are only using it’s borders. To “draw” an arrow pointing left we are showing only the right border.

.tags li:before {
 content: "";
 float: left;
 position: absolute;
 top: 0;
 left: -12px;
 width: 0;
 height: 0;
 border-color: transparent #0078d7 transparent transparent;
 border-style: solid;
 border-width: 12px 12px 12px 0;

The last element to add is the :after pseudo-element. This will act as that rounded hole. What we’re doing here is creating an empty square, and we’re rounding it’s edges so we create a circle (and of course we position it with position: absolute).

.tags li:after {
 content: "";
 position: absolute;
 top: 10px;
 left: 0;
 float: left;
 width: 4px;
 height: 4px;
 -moz-border-radius: 2px;
 -webkit-border-radius: 2px;
 border-radius: 2px;
 background: #fff;
 -moz-box-shadow: -1px -1px 2px #004977;
 -webkit-box-shadow: -1px -1px 2px #004977;
 box-shadow: -1px -1px 2px #004977;

That was a basic html and CSS code but if someone want to make this tag as clickable then It can easily be achieved by adding anchor tag inside the LI element. Also need to add some classes to handle the hover of achor tag.

I hope this blog is helpful for you.

Happy Designing 🙂 !!

SharePoint : Custom Task Email with Outlook ribbon control “Open this Task”

Hi Guys,

It was really interesting to work with my latest client. They had an very interesting and innovated idea to automate their manual file approval process.  The requirement was to create a multistage state machine workflow where users have privilege to approve and reject documents with some comments. It was very interesting to work with end client(as they them self don’t know what they actually want).

I will not go deep into the workflow but surly will come back with another post explaining it. This post is more about a requirement which I faced during the development of the workflow. Just wanted to share the design of the Workflow:


Requirement:  As a user, I should have receive an email from workflow with custom subject having document name embedded to the subject where I can directly do some action like approve/reject or comment on the document. I should see a button in email “Open this task” which will redirect me to the page where I can take actions.


It looks bit easy but have hidden challenges in it. Most us are aware of the fact that when a task item is created, either directly in the task list or through a Workflow an alert email would be sent saying a task has been assigned to you (provided alerts are enabled). When we look at that email in Outlook we see an additional control in the ribbon “Open this Task” under the group “Open” as shown in above figure. Let me rephrase the requirements:

  1. We have to customize the body and subject as per their request
  2. Ribbon button “Open this Task” should present when the email is sent

The above mentioned two points are two sides of the coin, which means if you are able to see one then second will not be visible to you. So the final solution’s must have some trick to achieve both cases.


One point is clear that we can not go along with the default workflow email feature, we have to use “SmtpClient” or “SPUtility” to create email with custom body and subjects. Now question is how one can get ribbon button using SPUtility send email function.

  • I have used “SPWorkflowTaskProperties” class in the Task Created Event and sent it two properties “SPWorkflowTaskProperties.HasCustomEmailBody = true” and “SPWorkflowTaskProperties.EmailBody= <My Custom HTML Email Body> ” With this I can satisfy requirement 1 & 2 but not 3 (listed above).  Also if I were to create a task and if I want to send an email using Event Handler on item created I may not be able to use this. So for the generic purposes this would not fit in.
  • Next I thought of modifying the alert template but then it would have an impact on all task lists which is not a recommended option.
  • So, I have decided that I have to disable the alerts for that Task list and use “SmtpClient or SPUtility” class instead to send email which can be used at different requirements such as “event handlers/workflows or any other for that matter. With this class we do have control over all the aspects “From, To, Subject, Email Body, etc”. The only problem with this to achieve the requirement # 2 (Ribbon control in outlook). I always wondered how would outlook recognize that an email is for Task, how is this ribbon control activated as soon as it sees an email.

I believed that the alert email sent has some headers which mark this as Task which is understood by outlook and displays the controls accordingly. So now the question is what are those headers. After some research I figured out the Mail message headers. Below is the code for sending an email which also includes those headers and satisfies all the above mentioned requirements (1 & 2)

/// <summary>
/// Method used to send the task created email instead of default SP WF email notification
/// </summary>
/// <param name=”web”></param>
/// <param name=”htmlBody”></param>
/// <param name=”ToEmailId”></param>
/// <param name=”listItem”></param>
/// <param name=”emailSubject”></param>
/// <returns></returns>
public bool SendTaskMail(SPWeb web, string htmlBody, string toEmailId, SPList taskList, string itemId, string emailSubject)
string domain = web.Site.WebApplication.OutboundMailSenderAddress.Remove(0, web.Site.WebApplication.OutboundMailSenderAddress.LastIndexOf(‘@’));
var messageHeaders = new StringDictionary();
messageHeaders.Add(“to”, toEmailId);//author.User.Email);
messageHeaders.Add(“subject”, emailSubject);
messageHeaders.Add(“content-type”, “text/html”);

messageHeaders.Add(“Message-Id”, “<3BD50098E401463AA228377848493927” + Guid.NewGuid().ToString(“D”) + domain + “>”);
messageHeaders.Add(“X-Sharing-Title”, ConvertToBase64String(“Body”));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-AlertTitle”, ConvertToBase64String(“System”));
messageHeaders.Add(“Content-Class”, “MSWorkflowTask”);
messageHeaders.Add(“X-AlertWebUrl”, ConvertToBase64String(web.Url));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-AlertServerType”, “STS”);
messageHeaders.Add(“X-AlertWebSoap”, ConvertToBase64String(web.Url + “/_vti_bin/alerts.asmx”));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-Sharing-Config-Url”, “stssync://sts/?ver=1.1&type=tasks&cmd=add-folder&base-url=” + Uri.EscapeDataString(web.Url) + “&list-url=” + Uri.EscapeDataString(taskList.RootFolder.ServerRelativeUrl) + “&guid=” + Uri.EscapeDataString(taskList.ID.ToString(“D”)));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-Sharing-Remote-Uid”, taskList.ID.ToString(“D”));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-Sharing-WssBaseUrl”, ConvertToBase64String(web.Url));
messageHeaders.Add(“X-Sharing-ItemId”, ConvertToBase64String(itemId));

SPUtility.SendEmail(web, messageHeaders, htmlBody);

return true;
catch (Exception ex)
Utilities.UpdateLogErr(ex, “Error while sending email. Please find details in audit logs”);
return false;

Hope this helps!

Thank you for your time.

Happy SharePointing 🙂 !!