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SP2013 Search –Display Templates Overview (Part 1)

“A Fond Farewell to .xslt”

If you’re a SharePoint Search developer, or are heavily involved in Search in SharePoint, I believe that you will be pleasantly pleased with some of the changes that should make developing on the SharePoint 2013 platform simpler. However, the downside in this case is that all of that wonderful work you did on .xslt may be completely moot. It’s gone, and replaced with what Microsoft has coined Display Templates. Don’t fret too much, because Display Templates interface with many other parts of the SharePoint 2013 search platform and allow for a very versatile and dynamic search solution.

So what are Display Templates?

In a nutshell, Display Templates are the new dynamic way of displaying your search results. They are no longer .xslt based, but are HTML/JavaScript based, which allows greater flexibility in designing your search experience. You can set your search results display to be based off of different content types. Let’s take a look.
First off, head over to your results.aspx page on your search center. If you don’t know where the “Site Actions” –> “Edit Page” functionality has gone, check out the upper right section of your ribbon where the cog is as shown below.
Once you’re in Page Edit mode, find the Search Results web part (previously Search Core Results) and Edit the web part.
Find the “Display Templates” section under Properties for Search Results and expand. Here, you’ll find your two main choices for how to display search results. You can use result types to display your search results or you can use a single type to display your search results.
So there you have the basics of Display Templates. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will look at modifying Item Display Templates and create your own.

Thoughts on “SP2013 Search –Display Templates Overview (Part 1)”

  1. Hi Will
    I hoped you would have explained the difference between using a single template and using the result types.

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