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CustomAction & UrlAction

Posted by Clayton James on July 30, 2008

Some more CustomAction elements I have come across include:
– Rights: You can set a Rights property so only people with these rights can view the Custom Action
      You can also remove existing CustomActions based on rights
– RegistrationType and RegistrationId: I have previously set these to lists, however you can even set them to file types. So only files with a .html extension will see this custom action in the ECB menu


Here is some great information from Jan Tielens Blog.

I am including the content as I always reference it.

MSDN documentation also.

<Elements xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/”>
        Title=”My Link”
        <UrlAction Url=”_layouts/mypage.aspx”/>

If you build some functionality in the mypage.aspx, in many scenarios this page will need to know from which list the link originated. This can be done by using URL tokens in the UrlAction element:

<UrlAction Url=”_layouts/mypage.aspx?listid={ListId}“/>

The {ListId} URL token will be automatically replaced with the ID of the list, in which the menu item is shown. In the mypage.aspx, you can retrieve the value of the listid parameter by making use of the QueryString. Once you’ve got the ID, the object model can be used to get a reference to the SPList instance of that list. According to the documentation on MSDN, the following URL tokens can be used:

  • ~site – Web site (SPWeb) relative link.
  • ~sitecollection – site collection (SPSite) relative link.
  • In addition, you can use the following tokens within a URL:
    • {ItemId} – Integer ID that represents the item within a list.
    • {ItemUrl} – URL of the item being acted upon. Only work for documents in libraries. [Not functional in Beta 2]
    • {ListId} – GUID that represents the list.
    • {SiteUrl} – URL of the Web site (SPWeb).
    • {RecurrenceId} – Recurrence index. This token is not supported for use in the context menus of list items.

    Unfortunately there is no token that will give you the URL of the page on which the feature’s link is being displayed. In many cases you want to have that URL to be able to redirect, after you’ve shown your custom functionality, to the originating page. SharePoint itself uses this technique a lot: in many URL’s you’ll find the Source parameter:


    The URL above points to the NewForm.aspx for the a Links list. Normally when the user fill’s out this form and clicks OK, this page redirects to the default view of the list. Because this link has the Source parameter, when the user clicks OK (or cancel), the page will redirect to the default.aspx instead. You can add the Source parameter to a lot of pages in SharePoint, giving you full control over the redirecting.

    So the issue is: we want to include the URL of the originating page in the UrlAction element of the feature’s CustomAction, but all we get are a bunch of ID’s and some URL’s that are not useful for this scenario. As usual peeking in the machine room of SharePoint itself can give you some good ideas to solve this issue. The SharePoint guys themselves sometimes use Javascript functions in the UrlAction, instead of ordinary hyperlinks. Thus with some clever use of Javascript, it’s quite easy to solve the problem:

    <UrlAction Url=”javascript:window.location= ‘{SiteUrl}/_layouts/mypage.aspx?List={ListId}&amp;Source=’ + window.location”/>

    The actual link is a Javascript function that will navigate to a specific URL. This URL is a concatenation of the URL of the page to display (including for example the ID of the list as a parameter in the QueryString), and the Source parameter which is dynamically set the current page’s URL. Et voila, the constructed link will point to your page, and the redirect will always point to the page you started from.

    Extra: this tric can also be used to overcome a bug in SharePoint that causes a URL token of a CustomAction to be replaced only once. So if you have used the ListID token two times in a UrlAction element, only one of the token’s will be replaced with the actual ID of the list. The user “FlatEric” (what’s in a name?) explains this in the Community Content of the How to: Add Actions to the User Interface article on MSDN.

    I found an ugly way to bypass this flaw:
    <UrlAction Url=”javascript:function process(){var site='{SiteUrl}’;var item={ItemId};window.location.href=site+’/Lists/MyList/NewForm.aspx?ID=’+item+’&amp;Source=’+site+’/Lists/myOtherList/DispForm.aspx?ID=’+item;};process();”/>

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    19 Responses to “CustomAction & UrlAction”

    1. SSJ said

      How do u add a custom link in the Top link bar using CustomAction tag or rather using feature.

    2. erugalatha said

      Have you come across another bug related to this where Custom Actions on the Document or List Item dropdown menus do not appear when rendered in the Data View Web Part?

      They work fine in the List Form Web Part (default).

      This causes major issues as it breaks the rules whereby items are visible. On the DVWP only 4 items are displayed: View Item, Edit Item, Delete Item and Alert Me. While on the LFWP all items you have access to see are displayed.

      Steps to recreate:
      Edit your AllItems.aspx view in SharePoint Designer.
      Right Click on the List Form Web Part and choose “Convert To XSLT Data View”.
      Save it and view in the browser.
      Dropdown a menu on an item in your list.
      Only 4 Menu Items appear. On the normal view items like “Manage Permissions”, “Workflows” etc. appear.

    3. Deepak Gupta said

      Thanks much for posting this solution!

    4. Grail said

      All good stuff … My problem is I have created a feature to do this, and it works perfectly in WSS 3.0. I try it in MOSS SP1 and it never shows up either functionally or in the Site Collection Feature list. Tried it both on our test MOSS environment and our production. Disappears without a trace … Installs fine, activates fine via STSADM, shows up in some tools, but is missing in the Site Collection Feature list and most certainly doesn’t work …

      Can repeat the install successfully in WSS.

      Any ideas?

    5. Anil said

      How to pass RootFolder to CustomAction UrlAction like we geting ListId


      I left it empty, what i need to fill in that

    6. frenky said

      gZlVu8 http://gdjI3b7VaWpU1m0dGpvjRrcu9Fk.com

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    9. Subhash said

      You can use a token called {Source} and it will add the normal Source query paramater that you see SharePoint using.

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