Adding a code snippet to page content on SharePoint 2013

Note: this post is written specifically for SharePoint 2013.

Sometimes it is necessary to add a snippet of code to just one page. Examples could be:

  1. Alternative CSS for just that page, i.e. to style a specific element
  2. Add a snippet of HTML and/or JavaScript, such as for a Google Maps or Youtube embed
  3. Add a piece of CSS to hide the left navigation on specific pages
  4. Add the Open In Explorer Link to a page

There are technically a number of ways to achieve this:

  1. Paste the code directly into the page contents (does not work)
  2. Paste the code into the the HTML source of the Content Editor Web Part (can work, depending on SP version and code)
  3. Use the Embed command  (can work, situational)
  4. Save the code in a text file, save it somewhere on your SharePoint site collection and call the text file via the Content Editor Webpart (my preferred method)

Option #4 is my favorite for a number of good reasons:

  • You can save the code centrally and then call it from multiple places without needing to replicate it
  • By saving it centrally, you only need to update it once if there are changes or updates
  • By saving it in the content database, you can access it from SharePoint Designer or similar, meaning you do not need to keep downloading-updating-uploading
  • It works consistently across all versions of SharePoint from SharePoint 2007 up to Office 365

For this example, I will be using a simple JavaScript which shows copyright information, in this case from 2010 to the current year. This allows the copyright to be kept up to date:

<p>All right reserved  &copy;
var cur = 2010;
var year = new Date(); 
if(cur == year.getFullYear()) year = year.getFullYear(); 
else year = cur + ' - ' + year.getFullYear(); 

Option 1: Paste the code directly into the page content

You can paste the code directly into the page content.


However, once you save the page and view it, you will see that SharePoint does not realize that it is code it needs to render in some way.

Conclusion: do not place code directly in the page content as it does not work.

Option 2: Edit source in rich text area / CEWP

In most content editor webparts and all rich text areas, there is a button in the ribbon called “Edit source”. This is great for quick fixes when content has gotten out of hand. In older versions of SharePoint, you could also use it to embed extra code.

Edit Source

You can easily paste your code straight into the Edit HTML window.

However, once you save, SharePoint lets you know that the code that it does not approve of has been stripped.


In this case, some of the embedded code has been stripped out.


Sometimes SharePoint will strip out all of it and sometimes it will only strip out parts which can cause an odd result. When it doubt, check back into the HTML source to see what has happened with your code and if it is still 100% intact.

Conclusion: while this used to work under some older SharePoint versions, it is generally not a reliable solution for SharePoint 2013.

Option #3: Using the Embed command

SharePoint 2013 includes an Embed command in the ribbon which can be great for adding code snippets to your page:


After clicking the command, you are prompted to insert your code and given a preview:


SharePoint creates a Script Editor webpart on the page for you. It even includes an “Edit Snippet” button, so you can go back and edit the code later.


The JavaScript is being displayed correctly in the webpart and also on publishing the page.

Conclusion: in my experience, this works but is dependent on the complexity of the code. Test well before using.

Option 4: save as a text file, call via CEWP

I have saved the JavaScript into a file called copyright.html. The file extension can help SharePoint determine how to parse the code when it is called, but you may need to experiment depending on your code – I have had good results from using txt, html and js extensions in the past.

Here is the file in Notepad++:


In this demo, I uploaded the HTML file to the document library on the same site as the page we are working with.


Tip: I tend to use the following rules of thumb as to where to upload these kinds of files:

  1. Think about if you want to save it in the standard Document library, or if you want to create a dedicated document library called “Scripts” or similar
  2. If the file will be called from just one single site, save it on the site
  3. if the file will be used across just one site collection, consider saving it at the root of the site collection or in the Style Library of that site collection (i.e. Styles/Scripts)
  4. If using across multiple site collections, choose the most logical place for it, i.e. on a root site collection

Next, place a Content Editor Web Part (CEWP) on the page and edit the webpart settings. At the top, add the link to the file and click “Apply” to save the changes.


The content should immediately display in the CEWP on the page.


Tip: if  you wish to use the same webpart in many places, you could export the configured CEWP and import it as a custom webpart. You can then place it on a page and it will already be configured for you.

Conclusion: this is my favorite method due to the central storage of the files, ease of editing the files and reusability.

Using the “Open in Explorer” link on SharePoint 2013

A client recently had the request to add the “Open in Explorer” link for a specific document library on a site. It’s understandable, considering that finding the Open in Explorer link requires understanding of the ribbon and knowing where to look for it; this site would be targeted at users with minimal SharePoint knowledge.

Browser considerations

Microsoft says that IE 7+ is required to use Open in Explorer. However, Microsoft also says that only IE 8+ is supported for SharePoint Online. Your mileage may vary.

I tested it in Chrome, which did not work. I have heard rumors that it works in Firefox, but that sounds unlikely to me, considering it is tapping into Windows functionality.

Troubleshooting Open in Explorer functionality

The functionality seems to be a bit sensitive and the conditions need to be just right for it to work.

Note #1: “Open with Explorer” may not work if you have the  64-bit version  Internet Explorer and/or the  64-bit version of Microsoft Office installed.

Note #2: There are some issues with IE 10 and this functionality; I got it working with IE10 (32-bit) with the “keep me signed in” trick – see below for more information.

Typical error messages:

  • “Your client does not support opening this list with Windows Explorer.”
  • “We’re having a problem opening this location in File Explorer. Add this web site to your Trusted Sites list and try again.”


  • Ensure that the WebClient service is started (this is preconfigured on modern versions of Windows)
  • Ensure that you are using a supported browser (IE 8+)
  • Add “https://*; to Local intranet site or trusted zones in your IE settings
  • Sign in to the SharePoint Online site by using your Office 365 credentials, and make sure that you click to select the Keep me signed in check box.

Microsoft: How to use the “Open with Explorer” command and how to troubleshoot issues with this option in SharePoint Online

Creating the link

The Open in Explorer link in the ribbon is nothing more than JavaScript. We can quite easily build our own.

The basic format is as follows, for the URL Documents/:

<a onclick="NavigateHttpFolder('https:\u002f\\u002ftemplate\u002fShared\u0020Documents', 'blank');" href="#">Open in Explorer</a>

The NavigateHttpFolder function resides in the core.js file and is usually called automatically. It was a non-issue on SharePoint Online with (mostly) default branding.

Note that you need a \u002f for a backslash, and a \u0020 for a space.

In my example further on, I’ve made the link relative – it works both ways.

Making the link dynamic

The thing is, the cilent wanted a link that could be used on a site template for different projects. Each project has its own Shared Documents library, which I want to link to without having to change URL by hand. This is where I started to make it a little bit prettier:

<br /><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
var CurrentSiteURL = document.location.pathname.split("/").slice(1,2).toString();
var ExplorerViewURL = "\u002f"+CurrentSiteURL+"\u002fShared\u0020Documents";
var LinkText = "Open Shared Documents in Explorer View"
// ]]></script><br /><br /><a onclick="NavigateHttpFolder(ExplorerViewURL, 'blank');" href="#"><br /><script type="text/javascript">// <![CDATA[
// ]]></script></a> <br /><br />

I knew that the client would never have more than one level of project sites, i.e. a root site with underlying project sites. So, I grabbed the current URL, split it into an array based on where the forward slashes are and then just grabbed the site information, i.e. “template” from my previous example.

I used the CurrentSiteURL variable to build the URL for the document library. It made sense to make it relative, in case the base URL ever changes.

I put the link text into the variable LinkText, just to make it look nice when building the actual HTML link. It would also allow for a potential dynamic link text.

Link placement/usage

The client also wanted this Open in Explorer link in the quick launch navigation. When I tried this on SharePoint Online/SharePoint 2013, I got a nice error:


It turns out that there’s new security in the newer versions of SharePoint and you can’t add JavaScript to the menu anymore. At least, not without using real code, features and stuff that was beyond the scope of this project.

So I did the following:

  1. Put the entire script into OpenInExplorer.js in the Style Library, including the HTML
  2. Place a content editor webpart (CEWP) on the page and call the JavaScript via the webpart.
  3. Clean up the webpart settings a bit, i.e. Title = “Open in Explorer”, no visible Chrome, etc.
  4. Export the webpart and then import it via the webpart gallery so that the client can reuse it as often as they want.


Full code in OpenInExplorer.js

<script type="text/javascript">
Created by Hannah Swain, April 2013

var CurrentSiteURL = document.location.pathname.split("/").slice(1,2).toString();
var ExplorerViewURL = "\u002f"+CurrentSiteURL+"\u002fShared\u0020Documents";
var LinkText = "Open Shared Documents in Explorer View"

<a onclick="NavigateHttpFolder(ExplorerViewURL, 'blank');" href="#">
<img style="height: 24px; width: 24px; border: 0px; padding-right: 5px;" alt="Open in Explorer" src="/Style Library/client/folder_yellow_explorer.png" />
<script type="text/javascript">document.write(LinkText);</script
<span style="padding-left: 34px; font-style: italic;">Requires Internet Explorer 7.0+ and Active-X controls</span>


The following articles/forum threads helped me to figure this out: