Feb 18, 2015

Calculated string field in Content Search Web Part

One of my customers had a need. They have an intranet site collection and another one for team sites. One of the team sites contains a list from which they wanted to show five newest entries on the intranet front page. Since both site collections are indexed in search, no problem, we simply used a Content Search Web Part for it. Re-indexed the list columns and created properties in the search schema for the columns they wanted to show in the CEWP.

One of these columns was a calculated field, that combined the name information into a neat display column of [Lastname, Firstname] string. It was quite a surprise when the CEWP showed this information with an additional string;# resulting in a list such as this:
  • string;#Connor, June
  • string;#Mickowich, Mark
  • string;#Somebody, Else
You get the drift. I started to google, of course, landing several references to this behavior. The workarounds consisted mainly of two propositions: do not use a calculated field but rather a workflow, or, more specificly addressing this CSWP issue, make your own display template and fix the Javascript responsible for this starngeness. I wanted to do neither.

There is a very simple solution, done right there in the client side, on the page. What I did was insert a Script Editor Web part on the page underneath of the CSWP and in that editor, I added this simple piece of script: 

<script type="text/javascript">
$("h2.cbs-picture3LinesLine1").each(function(){$(this).text($(this).text().replace("string;#", ""))});

Element h2.cbs-picture3LinesLine1 was the one containing the name with extra string in front of it. This Javascript insert simply replaces that extra string with nothingness. Mind you, this uses jQuery, so be sure to have the jQuery available, referred to on the page one way or the other; this site already had it in the MasterPage.

[Edit Feb 27th, 2015
If SharePoint has MDS (Minimal Download Strategy) enabled, many JavaScript functions will not fire upon page refresh. To solve this issue, use the ExecuteOrDelayUntilBodyLoaded(function() in order to call your function after page refresh too, eg.

function cleanstring(){
$("h2.cbs-picture3LinesLine1").each(function(){$(this).text($(this).text().replace("string;#", " "))});
ExecuteOrDelayUntilBodyLoaded(function() {
   RegisterModuleInit('/mySite/SiteAssets/testModule.js', cleanstring);

If your script is located in a custom MasterPage or PageLayout, you can use the SharePoint ScriptBlock element which is run on the server, instead of the Script-element. This, however, does not work if your script is added to a page using the Script editor web part or editing page source code.

<SharePoint:ScriptBlock runat="server" >
$("h2.cbs-picture3LinesLine1").each(function(){$(this).text($(this).text().replace("string;#", ""))});

Also, on a publishing page, where MDS was not the issue, the problem was solved by using


whereas $(document)ready() did not do the trick.]

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