Using OOTB JavaScript Functions to Modify SharePoint Pages

I'll show you how to use SharePoint's OOTB JavaScript functions to easily switch pages to edit mode or display the Web Part tool pane.

A while back in the WSS v2 days, Todd Bleeker blogged how you can use some of the OOTB JavaScript functions to switch a page into edit mode or show the Web Part tool pane. When would you need this? Well, were you aware that the new/edit/display forms are just Web Part Pages? You can usually add Web Parts to those pages as they typically already contain Web Part zones!

I’ve become so reliant on that post that I have to keep going back to it… even have it copied into a OneNote file. Anyway, last week at a client site someone asked a question where this was needed so I finally got fed up with the “hunt-&-peck” and made it much easier to use.

I give you the SPClientUtilities Feature. This feature only does two things:

  1. Add a new menu item to the Site Actions menu that lets you toggle into edit mode on any page (_except application pages… those within /layouts… those pages can’t be customized so the menu items if clicked on that page will throw a JS error).
  2. Add a new menu item to the Site Actions menu that lets you turn on the Web Part tool pane on any page (same limitation as above with application pages).

Only users with rights to customize the page will see the menu items. Here’s what it looks like once activated:

Site Actions

Site Actions

Ever need to add a Web Part to the new form on a Tasks list? Now you can (very easily):



Get the code!

I’ve packaged this puppy up in two formats. The first is a nice little WSS solution package… just add this guy to the solution store and deploy OR manually copy the Feature into the 12 hive.

  • SPClientUtilities.wsp (WSS solution package installer)
  • SPClientUtilities Feature

Again, full credit for figuring this solution out goes to Todd Bleeker’s post. All I did was Feature-ize it!

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web & cloud developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to helping you be the best Microsoft 365 web & cloud developer. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.

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