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Tag Archives: publishing

javascript: Remove illegal characters in url

Illegal characters

Recently I needed to create valid urls for pages using javascript. Also this time I thought it must be some out-of-the-box code for that in SharePoint. The first thing I came up  was the “Add page” dialog.  I found that the actual dialog was in the _layouts virtual folder:


Bingo, it does the validation in the client side. This is the responsible javascript function that resides directly in the page:

function UpdateUrl() {
  var hiddenPageUrlLabelExtensionClientId = "<%=hiddenPageUrlLabelExtension.ClientID%>";
  var hiddenPageUrlLabelExtension = document.getElementById(hiddenPageUrlLabelExtensionClientId);
  var pageNamePreviewUrlLabelClientId = "<%=pageNamePreviewUrlLabel.ClientID%>";
  var pageNamePreviewUrlLabel = document.getElementById(pageNamePreviewUrlLabelClientId);
  if( pageNamePreviewUrlLabel != null ) {
    var nameInputTextBoxClientId = "<%=nameInput.ClientID%>";
    var nameInputTextBox = document.getElementById(nameInputTextBoxClientId);
    var allowSpaces = false;
    if( GetInnerText(hiddenPageUrlLabelExtension) != "" ) {
      var suggestUrlValue = "";
      for (var i=0; i < nameInputTextBox.value.length; i++) {
         var currentChar = nameInputTextBox.value.charAt(i);
         if (IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(currentChar) == -1 
			&& !(currentChar == ' ' && allowSpaces == false) 
			&& currentChar != '.' && currentChar != '+') {
           suggestUrlValue += currentChar;
         else if (currentChar == ' ' 
			|| currentChar == '+' 
			|| (currentChar == '.' && i > 0 && i < (nameInputTextBox.value.length - 1))) {
          suggestUrlValue += '-';
      UpdatePreviewUrl( suggestUrlValue );
    } else {
      if( g_timerId != 0 ) {
      g_timerId = window.setTimeout(OnFriendlyUrlNameChanged, 500);

This function iterates through all the characters in the page url and removes the illegal characters. The space, plus sign and the dot become a hyphen. To determine if a character is illegal, it relies on another javascript function called: IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName. This function can be found in the init.js or init.debug.js:

function IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(strLeafName) {
    for (var i = 0; i < strLeafName.length; i++) {
        var ch = strLeafName.charCodeAt(i);

        if (strLeafName.charAt(i) == '.' && (i == 0 || i == strLeafName.length - 1))
            return i;
        if (ch < 160 && (strLeafName.charAt(i) == '/' || !LegalUrlChars[ch]))
            return i;
    return -1;

This function checks a char against an array of all characters: LegalUrlChars from the same file: init.js.


To use this UpdateUrl function, we have to remove the references to the fields from the Add Page Dialog. Of course, we won’t overwrite this original function, we don’t want to break the SharePoint OOB functionality. Here is how my new function looks like:

var takana = {};
function takana.updateUrl(url) {
  var allowSpaces = false;
  if( url )
    var suggestUrlValue = "";
    var length = url.length;
    for (var i=0; i < length; i++)     {
       var currentChar = url.charAt(i);
       if (IndexOfIllegalCharInUrlLeafName(currentChar) == -1
            && !(currentChar == ' ' && allowSpaces == false)
            && currentChar != '.' && currentChar != '+') {
         suggestUrlValue += currentChar;
       else if (currentChar == ' '
            || currentChar == '+'
            || (currentChar == '.'
                     && i > 0
                   && i < (nameInputTextBox.value.length - 1))) {
         suggestUrlValue += '-';

Server Side

For those of you who want run this operation on the server, here is the code written in C#:

//" # % & * : < > ? \ / { } ~ |
var illegalChars = @"[""#%&\*:\<\>\?\\\/\{\}~\|]";

pageName = Regex.Replace(pageName, illegalChars, string.Empty);

var punctuation = @"[\s\.;\+]";
pageName = Regex.Replace(pageName, punctuation, "-");

//remove "--"
pageName = Regex.Replace(pageName, @"\-{2,}", "-");

pageName = string.Format("{0}.aspx", pageName);

//do it like the built-in dialog, lower case
pageName = pageName.ToLower();

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you find this post useful.

$ in cmssitemanager.js conflicts with $ in jQuery

In SharePoint 2010 if CMSSiteManager.js library is loaded besides jQuery, then much of stuff stops working. The reason is that the dollar sign ($) is used in cmssitemanager.js as well which conflicts with jQuery. Mostly it appears on pages where you load jQuery and have an image library with thumbnails. To avoid this, just replace all $ with jQuery in your custom scripts. A more crazy situation is when avoiding $ isn’t enough. It is when you load jQuery to page head automatically on all pages. The Asset picker (AssetPortalBrowser.aspx) invokes $ itself and gets with jQuery in conflict without you write a single line of custom javascript code. You usually get the following error:

Uncaught TypeError: Cannot set property 'display' of undefined

Or in IE:

Unable to set value of the property 'display': object is null or undefined

The solution

I found a good solution in Brad Curtis’ blog. Run in your script:


Brad Curtis creates an additional script file. But it is okay to have this line in your javascript file, so long you load this every time jQuery is loaded. So put this before your javascript code:

// this puts jquery into no conflict mode 
//which will remedy conflicts caused by jQuery when used
// with certan publishing features

If you use jQuery.noConflict, the dollar sign ($) is not available anymore! So replace all $ with jQuery. (Unless it is inside modules… another time about that…)

Update 2013-12-06

Thanks to Steve’s comment. Please consider to use closures where you pass jQuery as a parameter

(function($) {
  //do your jQuery stuff

Please, keep in mind, the $ in cmssitemanager.js has nothing to do with jQuery, unfortunately it uses the same variable name. The issue applies for SharePoint 2013, too.

Add content to a provisioned publishing page

We can use PublishingPageContent Property to write content to a page:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<Elements xmlns="">
 <Module Name="Pages" Url="$Resources:cmscore,List_Pages_UrlName;" >
 <File Path="Pages\Help.aspx" Url="Help.aspx" Type="GhostableInLibrary">
 <Property Name="Title" Value="Contoso Help Page" />
 <Property Name="PublishingPageLayout" Value="~SiteCollection/_catalogs/masterpage/ContosoPageLayout.aspx, Text page" />
 <Property Name="ContentType" Value="$Resources:cmscore,contenttype_welcomepage_name;" />
 <Property Name="PublishingPageContent" Value="hello world"/>
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