Debug SharePoint display templates in Google Chrome

In spite of being a Microsoft .NET and SharePoint developer I have no regards for Internet Explorer no matter whatsoever. Google chrome is the best browser in the history of browsers.

You may also like to have a look at the below blog posts regarding Content Search Web Parts:

Let me you explain a small tip on how to debug the display templates of your Content Search Web Parts in SharePoint in Google Chrome.

There will always going to be 2 files created for your display template. One is the .HTML file in which you would be working and the other is the .JS file which gets automatically created and used by SharePoint once you upload your .HTML file.

a. Open the page in which you have your CSWP.

b. Press Ctrl+Shift+J. This will open your developer dashboard.

c. Click on “Sources” from the tabs as shown below:


d. Expand _catalogs/masterpage and then Display Templates/Content Web Parts


e. You should be seeing the .JS file of your display template. Click on the .JS file to open it in the workspace.

f. Put a breakpoint anywhere and refresh the page and the page load would pause when the break point is hit in the display template as shown below:


g. From now you can debug like how you do in Visual Studio using F10 and F11.


Display default content when there are no results returned in Content Search Web Part

Content search web part in SharePoint 2013 is a new feature that can comfortably replace the development of custom web parts from Visual Studio.

You may also like to have a look at the below blog posts regarding Content Search Web Parts:

There might be a requirement when there are no results returned from your CSWP’s query, you would still need to display some default content. Follow the below steps in order to accomplish this:

a. Edit your content search web part.

b. In the tool part, uncheck the option “Don’t show anything when there are no results.”


c. Open the control template of you content search web part, search for the below if condition:


d. The text or the HTML content that you give inside the above if condition would appear in your web part when it has no results to display. You may use it to display any custom empty message when there are no results returned.

Hope you found this to be helpful.

Maximum before and after current page properties in SharePoint 2013 search

If you have used or worked with SharePoint search, you must have come across the pagination control that appears in the bottom of the search results web part in the search results page.


This control came as a separate web part in SP 2010 where we had the below 2 properties in the tool pane that can be set to show the maximum no. of page links to be shown before the current page and the maximum no. of links to be shown after the current page.


Whereas in SP 2013 the pagination has become a part of the core search results web part itself and is being created in the control template of the web part (more on that later). And the above 2 properties of the pagination are not seen in the tool pane of the search results web part which came as a surprise to me.

Later, to my surprise when I exported the search results web part I was able to see the 2 properties in the .webpart file as shown below:


Setting the properties in the .webpart file and importing it back to SharePoint made the necessary changes in the pagination reflecting. Hope you find it useful.

Content search web part for a specific SharePoint list\library

This is supposed to be my first blog post on SharePoint 2013. This is about the new and the much spoken about Content search web part in SharePoint 2013. While I was working on it, I wanted to load the list items from a particular library in the content search web part. I could not find much help by googling on how to configure the query builder of the CSWP to target a specific SharePoint library.

You may also like to have a look at the below blog posts regarding Content Search Web Parts:

In this post I will explain how to target a particular library as well as a list in a CSWP by modifying its query through various options.

a. Add a CSWP to your page and edit the web part to view its tool pane. In the tool pane of the web part click on Change query to open the query builder modal window as shown below:


b. As you see in the above screen shot, the default configuration in the query builder is to show the recently edited items in the current site.

c. In order to display the list items from a library, select “Documents” from Select a query and select “Specify a URL” from Restrict by app and enter the URL of your library in the text that appears immediately below the drop down as shown in the below screenshot.


Note: While entering the URL of the library, please note that the URL should not have any “%20” in it and the URL should only be up to the library’s name. For e.g. if the URL of the library is:, please change it to Aricles/ while entering.

Once you finish, the results would be shown in the Search result preview.

d. Click OK and you should see your web part displaying the document links from the document library in your CSWP.

Now let us see how to accomplish the same requirement for a list.

a. In the same web part, follow the same procedure to edit the query builder of the web part.

b. Replace the URL of the library with your list URL. You should be seeing that no results are returned in the Search result preview section.

c. Click on “Switch to Advanced mode”, you should be seeing the below screen:


d. As you see in the query text textbox, the file extensions of the results are being queried which restricts the results to documents alone and avoids list items.

e. Remove the text that checks for file extensions as shown below:


f. Now click on “Test query” and you should see the list items from the SharePoint list returned.