Thursday, August 28, 2014

PDF previews enabled in Office365 for search and document libraries


With the March 2013 PU SharePoint 2013 on-premises got this functionality as Office Web Apps added support to open PDF documents. Not a big surprise as Word itself can open PDF documents.

For on-premises you could for search results easily add a Result Type to allow for PDF previews, while for document libraries the best option is Wictor Wiléns farm solution which patches up, or my more ad-hoc solution as blogged at

Long ago this was also available in SharePoint Online, but it was removed at some point for unknown reasons – meaning they turned off the PDF support for the online WAC server. Good news is that they are back!

The updates themselves

For search it is the Item_PDF_HoverPael.html file which has been updated - _catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/Item_PDF_HoverPanel.html. Hopefully this update will find it’s way on-premises as well, or simply copy it from an online tenant locally.

For document libraries the filepreview.js file has been patched to support .pdf, same as Wictor and I have blogged about.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Limiting on types of file in SharePoint

There are two managed properties you might consider for limiting or refining on the types of files indexed in SharePoint. One is FileExtension, the other is FileType. The main difference is that FileType is based on the content inside the document, not the extension, while FileExtension merely strips of the file extension of the file name.

This means that if you have a text file named test.txt and rename it to text.xlsx, on the FileType refiner it will be sorted under txt, not xlsx.

My personal preference and SharePoint’s default behavior is to use FileType.

When it comes to Display Templates, SharePoint will by default use FileExtension. This means if you rename test.xlsx to test.docx, it will use an Icon for Word, but show a refiner for Excel – unless you override and change the behavior in your Display Templates that is.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

How To: Search up items which don’t have a value set

imageOne of the harder things in search is to search for something which don’t have a value set, and it sort of goes against how a search engine works. If an item is missing a value on a property, then this property is not set in the search index. It will be non-existent.

Using SQL you can use operators such as IsNull to return items which are missing a value, but using SharePoint search you don’t have this operator.
A common work around is to provide some dummy/default value, and you can filter on this one instead. But often this is not an option.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

“Optimize for frequent use” setting in a Result Type


You have probably seen the check box for Optimize for frequent use if you have ever created a Result Type in SharePoint. But, what does this mean?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

S15E08–Query Rules – I am Trigger Happy (intent)

Want the book? Go get it!

This is the eight episode in the series “SharePoint Search Queries Explained - The Series”. See the intro post for links to all episodes.

In this fourth episode around query rules, I am going to focus on capturing the intent of the user. What is the person searching really looking for? If you look at a random query log you can, more often than not, easily pick out queries which you could call “Q and A queries”. By “Q and A query” I mean a query which is meant to bring back an answer which you can take action on right away.