Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 1: Bamboo Rich Text Column

As we continue our series on the complete line of Bamboo Custom Column products available in the Bamboo Store, we will now introduce the Bamboo Rich Text Column. With our Rich Text Column, you can add multi-language spell check, automatic Picture Library image uploading, style support, and much more to the functionality of the out-of -the-box Rich Text column equivalent.

The Bamboo Rich Text Column provides many powerful features for users.  We will go over a few particular features in this blog that help Bamboo Rich Text Column stand apart from SharePoint out-of-box Multiple Lines of Text.

 

To start us off, we need to first create a picture library to store images users want to embed in this column.  This picture library can reside either within the same site or on a different site.

After we have created our picture library, we can create a new Bamboo Rich Text column. To create a new column, select the action Create Column located under the Lists Ribbon:

 

You can also reach this option going to List Settings (also on the Ribbon), then Add a Column under the Columns section.

In the Create Column dialog, provide a name for the column and then select Bamboo Rich Text from the list of column types. Notice that the Additional Column Settings section updates to display a set of options related to the column type Bamboo Rich Text:

 

As mentioned, Bamboo Rich Text provides a powerful image manager to improve the process of embedding images into the field. To begin, you need to specify where you want the images to be physically stored in SharePoint.  Enter the Site URL where your picture library resides.  You can enter the URL in one of two ways: Absolute site URL or Relative (./, ~/, /) URL.  Bamboo Solutions recommends using a relative URL, as doing so will provide you with the means for creating List and Site Templates, as well as the capability to move the Farm from one host URL to another. After entering the URL, click the green arrow to populate the Select Picture Library drop-down menu:

 

Finally, select the language you want to use for the spell checker feature, and save the settings.

Now that we have configured the column, let’s play with some of the features. Let’s start off with Image Manager. Create a new item in your list, then in the Bamboo Rich Text column click the Image Manager option:

 

A new window will appear, automatically displaying the Picture Library selected earlier:

 

Within this window you have many features, including the ability to create new folders for better organization, upload new images, delete obsolete images, and even select existing images in your picture library. Let’s walk through the steps of uploading a new image. To start, select the button Upload:

 

Another dialog appears, wherein you can upload more than one image to your picture library:

 

Click the Select button to select the image from your local machine or network drive to upload to your library. Upon selecting one or more images for uploading, click the Upload  button to submit the request. When the upload has completed, you will be taken back to the main Image Manager page where you can see the image you have just uploaded.

Finally, click the Insert option to embed the image into your column:

 

 

The next feature I would like to discuss is the spell checker feature. Let’s say I have set the spell checker dictionary to German in the column settings:

 

Now in the New Item or Edit Item form, I highlight specific text that I want to check for spelling errors (in the example below the word Hello):

 

Upon clicking the spell check icon, each word that has a problem is highlighted in yellow. Clicking on the yellow highlight displays a context menu where I can see a list of possible corrections along with other associated options:

 

Additional unique features of Bamboo Rich Text include the ability to perform Find, Find & Replace on text within the column, and print the content of the column. These are features you will not find in SharePoint’s out-of-the-box Multiple Lines of Text.

Read our entire series dedicated to Bamboo Custom Columns:


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