With the abundance of requests for this, and with the need to do something with CAML which I’m very new to, I decided to create my own SharePoint list template by copying an existing site definition and modifying it for my own uses. I’ve documented the entire process in a two part article. The first part explains, briefly, how to create your own site definition (this can be skipped if you know what you’re doing). The second part deals with making changes to the SCHEMA.XML file for the Links list template. My approach is simple: add a new boolean field that “Open In New Window”, modify the existing default views, and add a new computed column which will render the link with target=”_blank” if the new field is checked. This new computed field is nice as you can elect not to use it in the default/custom views… you can use the original “URL” field which renders the anchor tag the same old way.
The article is compete with references to other related articles and downloads of all the files modified so you don’t have to do it yourself (or you can use them to follow along when you step throughout the article).
Keep in mind this method is great for new sites, but could cause issues if you decide to implement it in existing site definitions including the ones Microsoft provides OOTB or your own custom site definitions. This is also addressed in the article.
Let me know what you think! I’m interested in receiving some feedback on my method.