Pasting hyperlinks with descriptions into SharePoint

I would consider this an advanced tip, since it involves the use of Microsoft Access but when you have a lot of links to enter and modify on SharePoint, it might be worth looking at. The hyperlink field in SharePoint is actually made up two parts: the description, and the URL. Using the Quick Edit menu when pasting the links replaces both the URL and the description. If you want the description to be different, you can click on the hyperlink icon, which then shows a little dialog box, where you can make the change.

SharePoint: Hyperlink Field

While this method works really well for the occasional link, I was working on a list that contained 104 links that I needed to update in this fashion. I imagined there had to be a better way, and thankfully there are a lot of people smarter than me out on the world wide web. I found this great article which explained the process for importing those links into SharePoint.

While the solution gets there in a very roundabout way, it saved me a ton of time.

Step One: Create an Excel file

First you need to create the list of descriptions and links in a Microsoft Excel file. You probably start here anyway if you are dealing with a lot of links.

In another field, use the CONCATENATE formula to add a #, a comma, and a space between the description and the link, so the link looks as follows:

DSA Home#,

Excel screen shot showing one row with two columns: Column 1: DSA Home, Column 2: Hyperlink to dsa home site. Below that is a formula showing =CONCATENATE(column1, "#; ", column2)

Open your SharePoint list in Microsoft Access

Once you have your spreadsheet is up, go to SharePoint list in question and from the LIST tab, choose OPEN WITH ACCESS.

SharePoint: Open with Access

Access will ask you to save the file. If you want to save it permanently, you may want to save it back to SharePoint. Else, saving it to your hard drive works for a temporary need.

If you’re working in the new version of the list view, you may have to switch to classic SharePoint view.

Use the shift and arrow keys on your keyboard to select the fields you want to change, and then paste the content from your Microsoft Excel file into Access.Hyperlink Field Access Sample

If you need more help, view the video on the article page for more details.


Removing the checkbox field from list views

When you create list views, you always end up with a little check box field that you don’t really need nor want, but it shows up anyway.

Its purpose of that check box field is to allow you to select the item so that you can edit the properties, but in some cases you just don’t want that. You just want the link to the document or item and don’t want the check box thing in your way.

It was bugging me but not enough to really find a solution, until today. Last week I had a great session with someone who uses a screen reader for their work and I discovered that SharePoint is EXTREMELY lacking in its accessibility compatibility. We reviewed all kinds of site configurations that I had created in the past to see what the reader could see and what it couldn’t.

It appeared to me that any page I had created using XSL tended to work fairly well, but that any regular SharePoint table was hampered by the little checkboxes that appear on the left. I sought to try XSL on a document library and the little check box still showed up, now as a hovering thing that moved the text over on the screen.

Long story short: a very simple “on/off” switch in the Tabular View section of a list view.



The default shows this as ON and turning it OFF limits the user in being able to perform bulk actions. Before automatically turning this OFF, think about the end user and what their needs are. I am hopeful that making this change will help make pages more ADA compliant to generate a better user experience for those with screen readers. I will keep you updated as we find more “fixes” for screen readers.

Effects of changing Office365 login – part 8 (conclusion): Other Office Applications

This post will conclude an 8-part series on the consequences of changing the login for Office 365. Overall, the effects of all these changes were fairly minor, partly due to the upfront communication everyone received, and partly because we still were not heavy users. Our IT people were on hand to get the sync clients up and running, and while I did need to help a few folks with OneNote anomalies, very few people had issues reconnecting their OneNote files. It also helped that SharePoint files were pretty much unaffected, which was another reason why we push for the use of SharePoint rather than OneDrive for our division.

Here are some other notes we found when working within the Desktop Office Suite, for your education:

Effects on Other Office Applications

If you receive a warning message while working on a document indicating that the sync is failing or asking you to sign, do the following.

  1. Check the account used by the application by going to File/Account. If “” is being used, then sign into “”.
  2. Now click “save as” and browse to appropriate location in your Microsoft OneDrive
  3. Locate the document you are working on
  4. Click “save” and application will update the path of saved document to match your new account
  5. If you are concerned that you have changes that may be lost, you can save the document to new location, confirm your changes are present, and then delete the older file

Effects of changing Office365 login – part 7: OneDrive sync client

Another rather inconvenient, though known, consequence was that the OneDrive sync clients on our users’ desktops would no longer work since the login and therefore the path had changed. Our divisional IT group decided to take this opportunity and upgrade everyone’s sync client to the latest one, so the instructions for that portion reflect that. If you ever need to go through a transition like this, you might also use that as an opportunity to get everyone upgraded. Here’s what we told our users:

  • Your sync client will no longer connect to your OneDrive. That means for those who access their OneDrive using the folder on their desktop will need to make some changes.
  • You will need to sign out of your Office programs and then sign back in with your “” information so that your Office programs can continue to connect to Office365.
  • Your recent and pinned files in your Office programs may not be correct if they link to your OneDrive.
  • Any existing links to your OneDrive files (such as those you may have sent in an email) are likely to break, so you will need to access any files others have shared with you through the “Shared with Me” link on OneDrive.
  • Any OneNote files that live on your OneDrive will need to be reconnected. OneNote files on SharePoint should be largely unaffected.

Resolution Steps

General Rule of Thumb

Accessing documents using the O365 Web Apps works well and without issue. We recommend using the Web versions of the applications if you are experiencing issues. O365 Web Apps can be accessed by logging in to the Office 365 portal.

OneDrive Sync Resolution

MAC Users

  • OneDrive Sync Client for Macintosh Workstations and Laptops will have to be reinstalled.
  • Mac users will have to communicate with IT Support to reinstall the sync client.

PC users

Win 7 Operating System:

  • OneDrive Sync Client for Workstations and Laptops with Windows 7 Operating system will have to be reinstalled.
  • Windows 7 users will have to communicate with IT support for reinstalling the sync client.

Win 10 Operating System:

  1. Open application tray in the bottom right of your screen
  2. Right-click “OneDrive” and select settings
  3. Click Account tab and select Unlink This PC
  4. Click “Unlink account” tab.
  5. When unlink complete click Next
  6. Click “Use This Location
  7. Click Next to start the sync process
  8. Click Open my OneDrive – Star Fleet Folder
  9. Make sure all the checkboxes turn green as Synching takes place.

Effects of changing Office365 login – part 6: reconnecting your OneNote files

A rather huge (though known) consequence of the login change was the effect it had on OneNote. With regular OneNote files, it was possible to reconnect the file fairly easily following the steps below. For staff and class notebooks it was another matter and we ended up needing to recreate those from scratch.

OneNote files located in SharePoint

Those who are using OneNote to access files located on SharePoint should only need to log out of Office and then log back in.

  • FILE tab
    • Account
    • Sign Out
    • Acknowledge all the warnings, and shut down all of your Office programs
  • Open OneNote again
    • FILE tab
    • Account page
    • Click Sign In
    • Log in with your “”
    • The next screen will allow you to enter your password
    • Making sure the checkbox “keep me signed in” is on so you only have to log in one time
    • It should automatically connect all your services again
    • Go to the Home tab
    • Check all your notebooks

OneNote files in OneDrive

For those who have OneNote files that live on your OneDrive, follow the steps below.
To reconnect your file from within OneNote:

Alternatively, you can close your OneDrive OneNote file, then go to your OneDrive online, open it in a browser, and then click Edit in OneNote. If you have more than one, do these steps one book at a time so you don’t forget which books you’re supposed to have connected to your OneNote.

For OneNote files that live in someone else’s OneDrive, you would follow the same procedure as above, or you might be best to close the OneNote file, then go to your OneDrive online, click Shared with Me, and locate the folder or the file, then click Edit in OneNote.

Effects of changing Office365 login – part 5: Contact Detail Web Parts

This is a series of posts of what you can expect if you change the login for Office 365 in your company after roll out.

Today’s post is about an unexpected consequence that, just like the Delve one, is pretty reasonable once you think about it, and affects the contact detail web parts on all of your SharePoint sites.

The contact detail web part shows a picture (if available) of a user, and has link to their Delve profile. It’s a built-in function of SharePoint. Those profiles were all linked to profiles which of course no longer exist.

So, you’ll need to connect with your site owners to update all their contact detail web parts if they are using them on their sites. If you have any subsites that have contact pickers, they will need to be reviewed and updated as well.

Updating a contact detail web part:

From the EDIT button in the top right hand corner of your page:

  • Choose “Click here to add or modify a contact”
  • On the Contact Details Tool Pane, click on the little address book below the contact field.
  • Type the person’s last name in the Find field and hit Enter.
  • Pick the correct person and choose OK.
  • Click OK on the Contact Details Tool Pane.
  • Save the page.




I need more than one contact on my page

Each contact detail box only allows one person, if you have page that needs to list two contacts and only one is listed initially, you will need to add a second contact detail box.

The way to add the second box is to first click where you want that second box to appear.

Then go to INSERT, then WEBPART.


Under Social & Collaboration there’s a Contact Details web part that you add to the page.


When you edit the contact, there are two things you need to do.

  1. Add the person to it
  2. Under APPEARANCE, change Chrome Type to None. That will hide the header of the web part. You’ll still see the header while you’re in edit mode, but it will go away when you save the page.


Effects of changing Office365 login – part 4: Delve

One unexpected, though perfectly reasonable, consequence, is that the links to the five people on the left hand side of your main Delve are now broken. That’s because the links points to an address that include w2k_vt_edu. Thankfully in this case, Delve only shows 5 people’s names on the left hand side, and so the remedy is fairly short and simple.

Search for the person’s name, last name first. Their name will likely show up twice. If the individual had an image uploaded to their Delve, click on the name with the image as that is the correct one. If the individual did not have an image uploaded the profile names will look the same, and thus it will be trial and error until you find the correct one.

Another alternative to get your five people back, is to visit your community site if you have one and click on Members. If they are listed there, clicking on their name or picture will bring up their Delve profile, and voilà, you’re connected again.

If you don’t see your coworker in the Members page, encourage them to visit the community site and participate in at least one of the discussions or challenges on the discussion list, or click the Join link on the Members page.