Adding SharePoint Wiki Hyperlink Anchors

I’ve been spoiled by several years of working with Atlassian’s Confluence wiki. So it was a shock to the system to change jobs and be introduced to the Microsoft SharePoint version of a wiki. Seriously? How can they even call it a wiki? No wiki markup to speak of, no preview, and things that are absolute basics in Confluence seem to require administrative programming to accomplish in SharePoint.

My struggle today was to create intrapage hyperlinks. I have a really long document, and wanted to have a table of contents at the top. Hmm, what’s the equivalent of the [toc] macro? Oh, there isn’t one? Plan B: use a wiki bookmark. Oh, that requires some server-level and site-level functionality to be enabled? Fat chance of me getting that approved in my lifetime. So off I went to find another solution.

I read about embedding functions, jQuery scripts, manually editing the source code… None of these things were appealing. Then I happened upon an innocuous post on StackExchange about the very thing I was trying to do. The last comment on the page, which had been voted down, was an easy and brilliant solution (abet ridiculous for this kind of product).

  1. Open Microsoft Word to a blank document.
  2. Create a list of your planned hyperlinks and their associated anchor destination.
  3. Select each anchor destination, and on the Insert ribbon, click Bookmark.
  4. Provide appropriate label text (no spaces) and click Add.
  5. Select each planned hyperlink, and on the Insert ribbon, click Hyperlink.
  6. In the dialog, click ‘Place in this document’ and select the related bookmark created in Step 4.
  7. Once you’ve completed linking, select one or all and paste into the wiki page.
  8. Cut, paste, and format the hyperlinks and anchors.

I’m very disappointed in this product for making something that should be very simple so difficult. I’ve had a low opinion of SharePoint for many years, but having seen demos of the most recent version, my opinion was slowing improving. But this alone has wiped out any goodwill that was developing.

For the original post, see How to add a hyperlink anchor in a SharePoint wiki page.

The psychology of free

Quest freebie

Quest freebie

I attended a lovely lunch demo of Foglight by Quest Software earlier this week. As I was leaving and handing in my evaluation, I received a branded USB flash drive, the current hot freebie item. My first thought – “how big is it?” It was soon revealed to be 512MB. Only 512 MB?? Really?? I had to kick myself at that point for even thinking that.

I recall being thrilled not that many years ago to get my hands on a 32MB flash drive. Now that was amazing. I like getting free stuff. Do I use the free stuff I get? Rarely. I’m accumulating a fair collection of flash drives and I’ve actually used one of them recently, but it was a 1GB drive from VMWare. Clocks, compasses, carabiners, stress balls, all collect dust as we trot from one vendor demo to another.

Getting something for free appeals to our sense of value. But does it influence your decision-making the way the vendors hope it does? Probably more than we’re conscious of.

What kind of gadgets do you like to get for free?

Disappointment but hope

A few months ago I was thrilled to get approval from my boss to attend SQL PASS Summit in Seattle in November. It would have been my first opportunity to attend such a large and prestigious event, and I was so looking forward to the knowledge boost and renewed enthusiam it would have given me. In recent months I’ve been finding and following more SQL experts on Twitter and reading more blogs, and I couldn’t believe that I’d actually have the opportunity to meet some of my new heros.

Then along comes a recession to spoil my fun. I just found out this week that I would have to cancel my registration to PASS. Was I unhappy.  Fortunately, SQLServerPedia is promoting a contest to win a trip to PASS for first-timers. One of the ways to win is by blogging, so this was finally the incentive I needed to get a start on a blog. Do I think I have much chance of winning? Not really, but it beats not even making an attempt.

Otherwise, I may have to consider finding the money to go on my own (with flights via Aeroplan points). I know how important it is to invest in training to further a career. Had I known that I might be fishing the money out of my own pocket, I may have been more frugal on my summer vacation. So I may have to scale down my expections and just go for the three main days and leave the pre- and post-workshops for another time. I will also make best use of the suggestions for getting to PASS on the cheap!

Steve Jones made a presentation during 24 Hours of PASS on building a better blog, so I now have some kind of plan for what I will do with this blog. I’m learning a lot about SQL Server 2008 right now, as I’m in the middle of a migration from Oracle, so I should be able to document some of the new things I discover along the way.

Thanks for reading! Don’t be surprised if the look of the blog changes frequently for the first while, as I try to settle on a theme that I like.