Author Archives: Joy Lavigne (Adkins)

About Joy Lavigne (Adkins)

SharePoint and O365 Business Analyst for a mid-sized organization. Recovering SharePoint on-prem Administrator. Frequent speaker at SharePoint Saturday events. Teller of terribly corny jokes.

SharePoint 2010 Export to Excel 2010 Fails to Export All Fields in Some Views

Symptoms: Users report that on some views in a SharePoint 2010 document library or list, the export process results in an Excel table with the first column missing. Additionally, the first column in the table is Content Type, regardless of the view’s original column order. No error is reported by the application. Users of Excel 2007 are able to export the list without missing data and without errors.

Cause: Bug. Possibly because Excel 2010 is not able to sucessfully convert the object data in the Content Type field to text.

Resolution: Remove the Content Type field from the columns to be displayed in the view. (Switch to the view>Modify View> uncheck the box next to the field “Content Type”>OK).  Note that you will still be able to filter, but not sort, the results by Content Type, even if the Content Type field is not displayed.

BPC 2013 Presentation: Business Impact of the SharePoint Upgrade

Is your business ready for the change to a new version of SharePoint? This presentation goes beyond the technical requirements to consider how best to approach the tasks of planning, training, and testing the new system from a business perspective.

View on SlideShare:

SharePoint Best Practices Conference

I’m excited to present a session May 17, 2013 at the Best Practices Conference. The session discusses the business impact of SharePoint upgrade and shares some school of hard knocks lessons learned from our 2007 to 2010 upgrade.

Your technical team may be well prepared to execute the upgrade plan, but it is the end users and business leaders who must evaluate the new enviornment and provide feedback on whether it meets their needs. With proper planning, you can minimize down time and find workarounds for know “gotchas” in the upgrade process.


SharePoint “Open with Explorer” Button Intermittently Disabled

Symptoms: Users find that in some instances of Internet Explorer, they are able to use the “Open with Explorer” button on the SharePoint List or Library tab.  In other instances, the button is disabled. Closing and reopening the library sometimes corrects the problem.


Cause: The “Open with Explorer” button is not available in the 64-bit version of IE. When the problem is intermittent, it usually means that the client has both 64-bit and 32-bit versions of IE available on the same machine, perhaps with the shortcut to one on the task bar and a shortcut to the other on the start menu or desktop. The button availability changes based on which shortcut the user chooses.

Solution: Delete any shortcuts to the 64-bit version of IE. Replace them with shortcuts to the 32-bit version of IE.  Note that with system generated shortcuts, the 64 bit version will be titled, “Internet Explorer (64-bit). If needed, search for “Internet Explorer” from the start menu to find both versions in the search results, right click the result which does not say “(64-bit)”, and choose “Pin to task bar” or “Pin to Start Menu”.

Error on Word Check In to SharePoint: Web Server Copy is Open

Problem: When a user is editing a checked-out version of a Word document and leaves the cursor in an edited comment field or in the header/ footer editing area, the check-in fails with the following error: “This document cannot be checked in while the Web server copy is open. Close the Web server copy and try again.” This occurs even though no other user has the document open.

Cause: Bug

Resolution: Have the user place his/her cursor in the main body of the document. Save and check in normally.
Thanks to the following thread for this solution.

Quick and Dirty: Make PowerPoint Slides Default to Print on Standard Paper


When printing slides in PowerPoint, users have the option to “Scale to fit paper” in order to make the slides fit on standard paper.  This option is per print setup, however, and the setting is not retained from one user to the next.  Users often are not aware of this option, or forget to choose the option at print time, causing paper waste.


By default, PowerPoint slides are laid out with a size that optimizes display on the standard on-screen show ratio of 4:3. This ratio does not correspond exactly to standard paper sizes. To correct the layout to the standard 8.5 x 11 inch (or other) paper size, choose Design>Page Setup  and either change the drop down option from On-screen Show (4:3) to Letter Paper (8.5×11) or manually set the Width and Height. Save, and the settings will be saved with the presentation, so the next user will have their print job default to standard paper size without having to adjust the settings or select “Scale to fit paper”.

Outlook Prompting for SharePoint Login Credentials

Symptoms: While using Outlook, users receive prompts asking for their username and password for a SharePoint site, and Outlook displays an error message during Send/Receive stating “Outlook cannot connect to the SharePoint List [List Name]. The server may not be reachable from your location.

Cause: The user has used the “Link to Outlook” feature to make items in a SharePoint List, Calendar, or Document Library available directly from Outlook. The error states that Outlook is experiencing difficulties with the sync process to that SharePoint list.  This is a particularly annoying error because Outlook is set to sync every few minutes, so the error message is repeated often.

 Send Recieve Outlook Error

The three most common causes for the sync problem are:

The three most common causes for the sync problem are:

  • A temporary SharePoint server  connection problem
  • A  deleted or renamed list or library (the URL has changed)
  • (Most commonly) a connection established in a prior version of Outlook did not upgrade correctly when the user switched to a new Office version


 To troubleshoot, first check to see if it was a temporary server problem my doing a Send/ Receive All in Outlook. If the error occurs (choose the option to Show Progress of the Send/Receive), it’s not a server error.
SharePoint Lists folder in OutlookNext, make sure the location still exists in SharePoint. In Outlook, click the folder icon on the bottom left of the inbox to show all folders in the list on the left side of the screen.

Expand the SharePoint Lists folder and right-click the list mentioned in the error. Choose Open in a Web Browser to see if the destination URL still exists. If the URL is broken, delete the connection as explained below. If the URL is good but the sync is still encountering the error, delete the connection and then reestablish it as explained below.  

To Delete the Connection: From the SharePoint Lists in Outlook, right-click the connection causing the error and choose Delete. You’ll get a dire message about deleting the contents, but don’t worry. You’re only deleting the connection and the copies of the docs in Outlook. The original documents in SharePoint will not be deleted.

To Reestablish the Connection: If the connection is still needed by the user, navigate to the list in SharePoint, and from the ribbon, choose the List tab, and then the option to Connect to Outlook (hover over the icons if needed…this is in the middle of the ribbon near the Excel icon). You’ll get two prompts when you Connect to Outlook, one from SharePoint and one from Outlook. Confirm both. The connection is reestablished and a Send/Receive All action should process without error.

Clicking on a Link to a Document in a Document Library does not Prompt for Check-Out

As our organization slowly upgrades from one Office version to another, some users found that behavior in SharePoint changes. On document libraries for which Check-Out is required, some users find that clicking on a link to a document opens the document in the client application as expected, but they are not prompted to choose Read Only or Check-Out and Edit. Moreover, the document that opens is a copy of the original, so when the user attempts to save, the user is prompted to save the document locally. Meanwhile, the original document in SharePoint may have been edited by another user, since the check-out process of locking the document for editing did not occur.  

This problem appears to be caused by either incorrect security settings for the IE Zone in which SharePoint is placed or a faulty (missing or corrupt) copy of the Windows SharePoint Services Support file which guides SharePoint’s behavior regarding interaction with Office files.

The following steps resolved the issue.

  • Verify that the URL for SharePoint is in the Intranet or Trusted Sites zone in IE. Do not place the site URL in both places. (While IE guards against having a single URL in both places, it may be possible if one URL uses a wildcard: and https://*
  • Verify that the Windows SharePoint Services Support file is installed and set to run from the client machine. Control Panel> Programs and Features> Select (but don’t double-click…this will start the uninstall process) Microsoft Office [Version]>Use the Change option at the top of the list and Add or Remove Features> Continue to check what features are installed.  If the Windows SharePoint Services Support file is not set to run from computer, change it to do so and complete the Add process.
  • If the file is present, it may be corrupt or may be a file version from a prior Office version.  Run a repair of Office.  Control Panel> Programs and Features> Select (but don’t double-click…this will start the uninstall process) Microsoft Office [Version]>Use the Repair option at the top of the list. The repair operation requires a restart.

This issue is similar to the “A Windows SharePoint Services-compatible application could not be found” error (addressed here), but these later version of Office, IE, and the OS resulted in a change in opening behavior rather than an actual error message.  Problems with the Windows SharePoint Services Support file are especially common in a mixed Office version environment, such as when a client is running Office 2007, but has later versions of individual Office programs like Visio 2010, Access 2010, or SharePoint Designer 2010 also installed on the same machine.

Thank you to the following forum and blog discussions used in troubleshooting:

New User Not Available to be Added as a Resource in Project Server 2010

An occasional help desk call stems from a Project Manager trying to add a person as a resource on a project, but not finding them listed as an available resource. Usually, this is a case of a person who has not been a PWA user in the past, and the new user needs to be added to PWA. Unlike regular SharePoint sites, Project Server permissions are all handled by Project Server, so you must follow a specific set of steps to get a person set up.

Seems every time I add a new person to PWA, it feels like the first time (cue Foreigner track).  This is a good thing, in that we don’t have a lot of staff turnover. This is a bad thing, in that I sometimes forget a step.  So here’s a quick summary of what needs to happen to get your new person up and going in PWA.

  1. Add the person to the Active Directory group designated for the desired role in PWA.  If you can’t remember the name of that group, check PWA>Server Settings>Manage Groups. The PWA Group names will be listed along with the corresponding Active Directory Group to which it syncs.
  2. Wait for a scheduled group sync or initiate the sync immediately. From the Manage Groups page above, choose Active Directory Sync Options>Save and Sync Now. Note that if you have a large number of groups and users, syncing during production hours may take a significant amount of time and may affect performance.
  3. If the sync is successful, the user will be listed as a user in the PWA>Server Settings>Manage Users list. At this time, you may click the name of the person to change information, such as the user’s standard hourly rate for purposes of budget estimating.
  4. Wait for a scheduled enterprise resource pool sync or initiate the sync immediately. PWA>Server Settings>Active Directory Resource Pool Synchronization>Save and Synchronize Now. Again, take note that if you have a large number of groups and users, syncing during production hours may take a significant amount of time and may affect performance.
  5. The project manager should now be able to add the person as a resource to their project. PWA>Project Center>[Project Name]> Project Details>Build Team.  The new person should be listed as an available resource in the list on the left. The PM should check the box next to the person’s name and then click Add.

When problems occur during this process, they are usually the result of an Active Directory Sync failure. Check the sync status of the groups sync and the enterprise resource pool sync by following the steps up to the Save and Syncronize Now step. A status message including the time stamp and completion status of the last sync will be displayed on the dialog box. If the sync has failed, use this time stamp to find the corresponding error message in the ULS logs so you can troubleshoot the issue.

SharePoint Saturday The Conference D.C.

The first SharePoint Saturday “The Conference” was held in DC this month, promising to help meet the huge demand in both the government and private sectors for SharePoint knowledge from information workers, business leaders, developers, and IT Pros by extending the SharePoint Saturday experience to three days. I was honored to be asked to present alongside some well-known international and domestic speakers. The turnout was fabulous, and the nominal fee ($39, $59, or free for volunteers) provided for a well-staffed event and a grateful group of attendees, many of whom expressed that the quality of the training was on a par with the larger paid conferences. This small fee, however, was a much easier sell to their government and non-profit employers.

 My sessions on SharePoint in State Government and Business Consideration of the 2007 to 2010 upgrade went well, with lots of audience participation. As I’ve developed new sessions, I’ve enjoyed it more in more, because the sessions I present now are the ones I wish I had attended before learning the lessons the hard way. In addition to the great educational and networking opportunities at the conference, we had a huge response to another initiative, a ShareLove charity drive to gather personal grooming supplies and used cell phones to benefit domestic violence shelters. While the initial request was for folks to bring in their complimentary hotel toiletries, that request was one-upped with several people purchasing razors, hair spray and other items to donate. Special thanks to Dux Sy, Mack Sigman, Michelle Marie Strah, and Rima Reyes for making the collection of the items so easy by providing a single drop-off point for donations. The FEDSPUG user group plans to continue the initiative at their regular meetings as well.

Thanks to everyone for a great conference and charity initiative. The SharePoint Community rocks!

ShareLove Donation Box - Photo Courtesy of Michelle Marie Strah