Using the Announcements List in SharePoint 2010

I have spent two days now trying to find a suitable solution that will enable the ‘Announcements’ list web part to display more than 250 characters. I have searched the internet far and wide, and there have been a few suggestions, such as adding XSL, and finding something in the .aspx page along the lines of ‘limit len’. However, these are nowhere to be seen and were features in MOSS (SharePoint 2007), opposed to 2010.

First step? DO NOT USE A SHAREPOINT LIST. SharePoint list cuts off your post when it reaches 250 characters, and it ends with ellipsis. USE A CUSTOM LIST.

Using a Custom List allows you more flexibility with what you add to the web part. As it is for ‘Announcements’, you more than likely will probably want to have the same columns as the built-in SharePoint List.

The columns you will need to match the SharePoint List are:

  • Title (This will already be there, and will be a required field)
  • Body – Make this a multi-line column
  • Expires – DateTime
  1. Once you have created the Custom List, you will want to put it into use. Make sure you have a Web Part Zone in the place that you wish to place your announcement list. You can do this by editing your .aspx page in SharePoint Designer, and selecting to add a Web Part Zone in the ‘Insert’ tab.
  2. Insert the Web Part linking to your custom list inside of the web part zone, either on the Designer, or more easily in your browser when you have pressed ‘Edit Page’ in ‘Site Actions’.
  3. Open up the Web Part Properties, and where it says ‘Current View’, change this to ‘Summary View’.
  4. If you are not seeing the body, go back to your SharePoint Designer, and click on the Web Part you have just added. At the top of the page in the Ribbon Bar, you will see ‘Add/Remove Columns’. Add the other two columns.
  5. If you are not happy with the layout, feel free to move them about in ‘Design’. It is safe to say that SharePoint does not mind you deleting the titles that govern what part of the list it is – you can delete it and it looks much tidier.

So, remember – USE CUSTOM LISTS FOR ANNOUNCEMENT LISTS – NOT THE IN-BUILT SHAREPOINT LIST!!!

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