Displaying the list toolbar in SharePoint 2010

The project that I’ve been involved with recently has gone through a migration from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2010. A tiny, but still interesting, aspect of the project concerned lists and the lack of toolbar presented to the users as this functionality is now delivered via the ribbon. Well, did you know that it’s possible to put this list toolbar back in SharePoint 2010?

The project has a large and diverse user base with differing levels of familiarity with SharePoint, and the wider Office suite of products. When I arrived a decision had been made that the ribbon on the SharePoint 2010 site was not going to be shown to ‘regular’ users, i.e. non-administrators.

I love the ribbon and wish I’d been around to fight its corner! Having got to know the user base and environment a little better though I completely understand why this decision was made. A couple of major factors in the decision were that:

  1. The users are not all on Office 2007 and so the ribbon is a completely new concept to them in the workplace
  2. A lot of time and effort had been spent training the user base on the SharePoint 2007 system and it was not viable to increase the amount of re-training already required by the migration to 2010

Where possible the new UI elements of SharePoint 2010 have been fully utilised, for example the dialog paradigm is fully embraced and adds greatly to the solution. One area that didn’t quite fit though was with a small subset of users who needed to be able to work regularly with lists – but yet did not get to see the ribbon (because of a conscious design decision mentioned above) and so had no way of adding to the lists.

Wouldn’t this be easy if the toolbar was available on lists just like it worked in SharePoint 2007, instead of being ‘hidden’ up there in the ribbon? [Again, I love the ribbon, so don’t shoot me down!] Well, no problem, it’s actually available as a toolbar option in the XSL List View web part.

Simply edit the page that your list view is on, modify the web part properties, change the toolbar type to ‘Show Toolbar’, apply your changes and voila – a 2007 style toolbar on your list.

List View Toolbar Options

List View With Toolbar

An interesting solution to an interesting scenario. Obviously my task now is to get them to embrace the ribbon and re-introduce it!

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5 comments to Displaying the list toolbar in SharePoint 2010

  • Katie

    Thanks for the poster. I was wondering how can you modify the view in SP Designer? Show Toolbar does not seem to be an option and Full Toolbar generates an error as far as I can see. Maybe I am missing something here.

    • Hi Katie. I’ve just had a look and the ‘Show Toolbar’ option does indeed seem to be missing in SPD. However, I have selected the ‘Full Toolbar’ option and saved the page with no error – resulting in the old style toolbar being displayed.

      I can’t think what might be causing your problem, but perhaps you can do all you need to in SPD and then edit the page in the browser as per the post to see if you can add in the toolbar as you need.


  • Katie

    Hi Glyn, thanks for that. It seems that it has something to do with adding it to a page layout. For a normal page, it works, but the full toolbar doesn’t work when you add the web part to a page layout.


  • Colleen

    Can you do this when you have a data sheet view? I am not seeing the option once I am in the Web Part Properties.

  • George Michael Mavridis

    You don’t need to add any additional scripts. Just click on the list view WebPart and the “List Ribbon” will appear.

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