Joe Baldwin Dirty Polymath

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Hiding the Title Field on a form with or without code


One of the more common questions I run into from SharePoint users is "What do I put in the Title field"? Many of the lists in SharePoint will have a "Title" field, and any custom list you create will have this field by default. So therein lies the question of the architect... what do you do with this field? It's ambiguous by design (I imagine) but at times it can be too ambiguous. Often changing to "Name" or something-title, like "Project Title" or "Department Title" can help enhance usability. What about in situations where Title doesn't make sense at all? If you delete the Title field, you lose the Edit Control Block (context menu) in your views. The best solution is to hide this on your New Item and Edit item forms. To hide this field from the SharePoint interface:

  • Go the the list in question -> settings -> list settings.

  • Under 'General Settings' click 'Advanced Settings'

  • For 'Allow Mangement of Content Types' select 'Yes', click OK.

  • There will be a new 'Content Types' section that wasn't there before. Click the 'Item' Content Type.

  • Click 'Title' under 'Columns'. Select 'Hidden (Will Not Appear in Forms)'. Click OK.

  • Done!

To programmatically hide a SharePoint form field, use the following code (replace "ListName" with your List Name).

Using (SPWeb web = SPContext.Current.Web)


web.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;

SPList list = web.Lists["ListName"];

list.Fields["Title"].Hidden = true;



There may be occasions where you want to ensure on Site Creation (like in an Event Receiver or a Custom Workflow) where certain lists have these field hidden, or a Custom Action where the user can determine if they want the Title fields hidden on a form and do not want to disturb the ponderings of the local SharePoint wizard.

Original fix found at


Get Search Core Results Web Part Raw XML


I keep using this and can't find the bookmark, so I'll post it here. When using XSLT to style your results in a Search Core Results Web Part, it helps to get the raw XML in static form to fine-tune your visuals. To do so, paste the following into the XSL Editor Property on your Search Core Results Web Part. Hit Apply and you will get the untransformed XML.

<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
    <xsl:output method="xml" version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" indent="yes"/>
    <xsl:template match="/">
            <xsl:copy-of select="*"/>

Via and Tobias Zimmergren


Help Wanted Social Media Style


Here is an "Information Age" experiment for my own benefit. I am looking for a stuffed animal for my son that they have on a decorative aisle poster/thing at Target, and I've asked several times and they don't carry it. I don't know if they've EVER carried it. Do you know what this product is called, and who is it made by? I've posted this on Facebook, Twitter, and now here on my blog, as of 1:30pm on a Saturday. Does the internet work this way yet? Am I sufficiently networked with enough people that I can get ANY information that I need? I will post my results and thoughts here. And please, think of the children.


Augmented Reality Killer App


I was just talking to my friend and fellow Metaverse visionary about Street Fighter IV and was about to joke with him that I preferred the "Augmented Reality" version of Street Fighter where everyone had health bars over their heads and actually got back up when you delivered a dragon uppercut. I decided to write this instead, since I needed a segue and the joke really wasn't that funny. So what about augmented reality? Is it the poor man's/quitter's version of that long promised and never delivered technology of the 90's?

Augmented Reality will be the training wheels to true Virtual Reality (but by then it won't be called Virtual Reality) and will be used ubiquitously alongside other technologies that we use today; in fact you probably already use examples of this tech: a car with a heads-up display to show you your speed, an mp3 player/ phone that rings through with a call when you are listening to music, or an iPhone showing you where your friends are in relationship to you. Some of these might be stretching the definition, but I think they are excellent examples of how this is creeping into our lives. The only thing that is keeping this technology from being more pervasive is the interface/display. With the recent popularity of the Wii everyone seems to have lost their compunctions against flailing around like an idiot, so the missing piece of the puzzle is the display... once you can the average person to put on some goggles or a visor, there's no turning back. Then we can have the applications that would really make Augmented Reality actually useful, with overlaid data on everday items: addresses on buldings you can actually see, retail product information without going home and googling it, expiration dates on your food without touching that moldy block of cheese, or looking out your window and getting the weather report for the next 24 hours.

So what will be the killer app that gets everyone on board? I think you will see this first adopted in two places... the workplace and home entertainment systems. Graphics are still in that incubation phase where people get creeped out by things looking "almost" real, but comfortable when it's on their TV or computer screen. In the workplace it will be used to increase your monitor space... so you will have your laptop and mouse (real) in front of you, but you might have 1 (virtual) insanely wide monitor or 5 (virtual) monitors layered over your vision, that you can look from each by turning your head. Software already renders what you see on these kind of displays so it could be done with today's graphics processors. I think collaboratively you could have something like this with a representation of your co-worker next to you "looking" at the same workspace. Remember all that talk about holographic televisions? Does anyone even talk about holograms anymore? In the home entertainment venue you would have a display layered over your vision of a movie screen or an obscenely large flatscreen. A family would see the same display, in the same physical location in the house. I won't buy a massive flat panel TV because of the high price tag, but I would buy a pair of goggles for $400 if I could have a virtual movie screen in my back yard. Now, a point I will make often is that anyone can make predictions about "the future" but I think the real challenge is to put an expiration date on those predictions. It doesn't take a stroke of genius to say that people will have flying cars someday or that I can talk to Dick Tracy over my wrist watch. I think you will see a commercially viable version of what I am talking about within 5 years. Commercially viable, but probably not socially acceptable in terms of playing "Street Fighter V: Augmented Reality Tournament" in my back yard with my shirt off, unfortunately. Too bad for the neighbors; that's what curtains are for.


Can't Debug SharePoint Workflow


This is probably the toughest thing I've run up against yet with SharePoint. I won't share how much time was involved. shudder

I was not able to hit the breakpoints I added to my custom workflow in Visual Studio 2005. I attached to the w3wp.exe process s of type "Workflow", I compiled the dll in debug mode, I even made sure the appropriate .pdb resided in the same gac_msil directory as my assembly in the gac. Nothing.

Further frustrating the issue, and at the time unknowingly related, was the fact that once a workflow was initiated on a list item, it would give me the infamous "Failed On Start (Retrying)" error. I couldn't debug my workflow to see why it was failing to start. Argh.

Eventually I found this post here (Thank you Irfan Bashir!) , which suggested checking the "Policy for Web Application" section under Sharepoint Central Administration -> Application Management. Make sure your App Pool account for your SharePoint site (in my case "Network Service") has Full Control as opposed to just "Full Read". Restart IIS and try debugging your application again! This should get rid of at least any trouble you have hitting your breakpoints in Visual Studio.

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