Sep 24
Embed code workaround for Excel Web App

In SharePoint (on-premises or 365), you can get the embed code from a word or PowerPoint file and insert that in another page with the </> Embed Code ribbon command.

Unfortunately Excel Web App doesn't provide the option to generate this embed code. Fortunately you can create this very easily yourself.

Just get the URL for the Excel file and add ?web=1 to the end of it. This will give you the code that you place in a "</> Embed Code" by creating an iFrame from the Insert Ribbon of a publishing page, wiki page, blog article, discussion item, etc.

The embed code will look like this…

<iframe src="http://yoursite/Priorities.xlsx?web=1" width="100%" height="400px"></iframe>

It is possible that Excel Web app is not available if Excel Services is the default for viewing Excel files (A farm wide setting), in which case there is a Web Part called Excel Web Access which can be added to a page (Enterprise Site Features must be enabled).

Jun 13
SharePoint 2013 default permission levels may shock you

To save time, SharePoint pre-defines different combinations of permissions. These pre-defined permission levels are known as the "default permission levels".

SharePoint 2010 provided a default SharePoint Group called "Members" which was assigned the "Contribute" permission level. This is the group would would assign most users to who would be creating and editing documents in predefined libraries.

This level includes all permissions in Read , plus:

  • View, add, update and delete Items
  • Delete Versions
  • Browse Directories
  • Edit Personal User Information
  • Manage Personal Views
  • Add/Remove Personal Web Parts
  • Update Personal Web Parts

In 2013 the "Members Group" permission level has change to "Edit".

This level includes all permissions in Read, plus:

  • View, add, update and delete Items
  • Add, Edit and Delete Lists
  • Delete Versions
  • Browse Directories
  • Edit Personal User Information
  • Manage Personal Views
  • Add, Update, or Remove Personal Web Parts

So now the users who we intended to just manage files in predefined libraries can also delete and create new libraries! In a well-controlled SharePoint environment where libraries have been created with default metadata based on a taxonomy, the ability to create new "rogue" libraries is undesirable.

May 11
SQL Space used to move a site collection

I'm always reminding people to extend content databases before migrating content or moving site collections so as to avoid auto grow and fragmentation. It is arguable more important to consider the size requirements of you transaction log files when moving or importing site collections.

I thought I would share some real numbers just for reference.

For a 4.53 GB site collection, 6.05 Gb of transaction log space was used.

At the end of the move-spsite process you will need to perform an IIS reset on all servers in the farm.

When a content database gets close to 200Gb I start thinking about moving some of the site collection in that databases to a new one. You might be tempted to move the largest site collection into a new (dedicated) site collection but it is usually better to move the smaller site collection for the following reasons:

  • Less down time cause by SQL locks on the database and sorter duration
  • Less transaction log disk space required on the new database
Jun 14
Free Hosted Service to Render Office Documents in HTML

Microsoft provides a public service to render your office documents that are stored in a publicly accessible web location. This means you don't have to upload documents to SkyDrive, or install your own Office Web App server in order to have them displayed as HTML files.

Works for most browsers include Internet Explorer 7 or later, Safari 4 or later, and Firefox 3.5 or later, and Chrome. Also works on most smart phones.

Example from

Generates a URL of

Another example for a PPTX.



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About this blog

I've been working with SharePoint since Team Services v1 and Portal Server 2001. After 10 years working for Microsoft NZ I joined Information Leadership, a leading SharePoint implementer of IM, KM and records management solutions.
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