Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Close Individual SharePoint Blog Posts for Comments

In a recent Extreme Makeover class, a student asked how they could close a Post in a SharePoint blog site for comments. They still wanted users to be able to read the blog post and read existing comments, but they didn't want them to be able to post comments on it. Kevin Pine and I worked together to create the following solution using some JavaScript in a Content Editor Web Part on the Posts.aspx page.

Add a Custom Column to the Posts List to Allow Comments

We needed some way for the blog owners to indicate when a post had been closed. On the Posts list, we added a new column named Allow Comments. We set the Type as Yes/No (check box) and the Default Value to Yes.

Update the Posts.aspx Page to Show the Value of the Allow Comments Column

Users can only submit comments while reading an individual post. This view of a blog post is generated by the Posts/Posts.aspx page. I clicked on the title of one of my blog posts to view the post in this page.

The Post Footer is displayed at the bottom of the post and above the comments section.

We needed the value of our new Allow Comments field to show up in the Post Footer. To accomplish this, we edited the current view by doing the following:

  1. Click on Site Actions, Edit Page.
  2. On the Posts web part, click on edit, Modify Shared Web Part.
  3. In the task pane, click on Edit the current view.

  4. Check the box beside Allow Comments, and click OK.

  5. View the blog post again and notice that the Allowed Comments value is now visible in the Post Footer.

Add the JavaScript to Hide the New Comment Fields If the Post is Closed for Comments

The form to submit new comments only appears on the Posts/Posts.aspx page. This means that we can add some JavaScript to this page to hide it if the phrase Allow Comments: No appears in that bottom line. Here is what we did to get the JavaScript on the page.

  1. While viewing a post in the Posts/Posts.aspx page, click on Site Actions, Edit Page.
  2. In the Right Web Part Zone, click on Add a Web Part.
  3. Select the Content Editor Web Part.
  4. Click the link to open the tool pane.
  5. Click on the Source Editor button.
  6. Paste in the following JavaScript code and click the Save button. Note that the code is fairly well commented if you are interested in what it is actually doing.

    <script language="JavaScript">
    //add an entry to the _spBodyOnLoadFunctionNames array

    //so that our function will run on the pageLoad event


    function hideComments() {

    //Create an array to store all elements to which

    //the ms-PstFooter class have been applied

    var PostFooterArray = getElementsByClass('ms-PostFooter');

    //Check to see if the first element of the array contains

    //the text "Allow Comments: No"

    if(PostFooterArray[0].innerHTML.indexOf('Allow Comments: No')!= -1){

    //create an array to store the SPAN tag with the ID of part1

    var commentSPAN = document.getElementById("part1");

    //Replace the comment form controls with my own HTML statement

    commentSPAN.innerHTML = '<b>Comments have been closed on this post.</b>';



    function getElementsByClass(theClass) {


    var allPageTags = new Array();

    //Populate the array with all the page tags


    var Elements = new Array();

    //Cycle through the tags

    var n = 0;

    for (i=0; i<allPageTags.length; i++) {

    //Pick out the tags with our class name

    if (allPageTags[i].className==theClass) {

    Elements[n] = allPageTags[i];




    return Elements;



  7. In the tool pane, expand the Appearance section.
  8. Set the Chrome Type to None.
  9. Click OK to close the tool pane.
  10. Click Exit Edit Mode.

Testing the Solution

My first blog post had the check box for the Allow Comments field checked. I can see the fields to post a comment.

If I uncheck the Allow Comments field and view the post, I can see that the comments have been closed.


Anonymous said...

i added custom 3 custom columns, but just one is showing up on the posts footer

is there anything else i need to do to show the columns, does it have to be mandatory columns?

Ricky Spears said...

Anonymous - I was able to add three custom columns and use the method described above to modify the view. I checked all three and they all showed up in the view. One was a Yes/No column, one was a text column, and one was a date column. None of them were required fields. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

When I added the column to the posts view it didn't show up for me either. Your instuctions are great but I think I'm missin something. Also, once I've added a Yes/No column how do I change it's value? Is this all a permissions thing maybe?

Ricky Spears said...

Anonymous - The value won't show up for existing posts unless you edit the post and re-publish it. Then you will see the column. Editing the post is also how you would change the value.

Mano Mangaldas said...

Cool, this gives a new dimension in page customization.