SharePoint 2010 Lessons Learned, Part 1: Wrestling with Images & Links

As I mentioned the other day, I was responsible for a fair amount of page construction and content assembly/publishing on the Sharing the Point (STP) site.  Naturally, my tour-mates all provided their share of content, but as the dedicated “content guy,” it mostly fell to me to gather together all of the site content and publish it to the site in something resembling a sensible manner. I should note, however, that I hardly created the site properly; full credit goes to Eric Harlan for giving birth to the site, and for providing secure logins to me and to the rest of the gang.  A tip of the hat must also go to for donating hosting services for the STP site, and for providing the sharp-looking tour logo.

Regular readers are aware that I pretty much represent the average SharePoint end user, so when the STP guys asked me if I’d take responsibility for the creation of the site from a content perspective, I was more than happy to do so. I just kept to myself the fact that my actual, hands-on experience with SharePoint 2010 to date had been rather severely limited (i.e., my hands-on experience hadn’t extended much beyond that which I’d blogged here). At the same time, however, I felt pretty confident that what experience I did have, combined with the fact that the new platform offers incredibly end-user-friendly page-creation-and-editing features would see me through. I also saw it for what it was: a great learning opportunity, a chance to get my hands dirty with a real-world, public-facing SharePoint 2010 site, and not coincidentally, fodder for a SharePoint Blank series to come later.

And all of the above has indeed come to pass, albeit with a few surprises and yes, also a few frustrations along the way.  There was also some, shall we say, tidying up of my efforts that my fellows among the STP crew gently stepped in and straightened out when I sent the “finished” site over for their review.   We’ll get to all of those details in time, but let’s start with the first new page I created for the site, and what I learned while editing it.

The Destinations page was the first new page I created, and after finding the dramatic nighttime shot of Beijing at night (while searching Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr), I knew I had the “theme” for the images I’d choose for each of the destinations: striking nighttime cityscapes.  Once I had chosen a representative image for each city, however, I hit my first roadblock.  I couldn’t figure out how to simply reference the Flickr URL of the images (using the provided Insert Picture From Address option in the Ribbon only resulted in a broken link for me), so I ended up copying and uploading the images to the STP site while noting the URLs to link them to for proper photo credit.  Kind of a pain, but no real problem for just three images, right?

Actually, there was a problem as it turned out, in that once I had uploaded the images, added them to the page, and then selected the first of them for editing (and, crucially, the addition of hyperlinks back to the original photo sources on Flickr), instead of seeing the expected, full editing suite of tabs, e.g.:

What I saw instead was just the Editing Tools and Picture Tools tabs, with no sign of the Link Tools tab whatsoever!  In frustration, I ultimately ended up adding the links to each picture manually via the available HTML button in the Ribbon, but I can tell you that wasn’t much fun, and it certainly didn’t end user-friendly.  Doing so, however, did allow me to accomplish what I needed to get done, so in the end, I called it a win for the day.

Having said that, I should note that I do still need to figure out how to reference an image on another site without having to copy and upload the image to the SharePoint document library, and I also still need to figure out why the Link Tools tab didn’t appear for me in the above example.  And yes, you better believe I plan to revisit these topics in this space in the future.

 Read the entire SharePoint 2010 Lessons Learned series:

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