91 ways to display Summary Links

SL-headerYou can use Summary Links to display links on a SharePoint page.
It appears to be a forgotten web part. Microsoft has written support information about it for SharePoint 2007 which is still mostly correct today, so it appears not to have changed since launch.  I have not found many blogs about it; even Greg Zelfond did not mention it recently when he explained the various Links options in SharePoint.

I have always preferred the Links List, since that allows all the flexibility of a list AND you keep the data if you remove the web part from your page or mess up the view. Additionally, if you remove a link it will go to the Recycle Bin.
My main concern with Summary Links is that it only exists on the page, so if you accidentally delete a link or the web part you have to start all over again from scratch. However, it has its uses:

  • When you want to add icons or pictures to your links
  • When you need multiple columns, e.g. as a footer on your site
  • When you want the links list to make a visual difference to your page

Adding the web part

Click the Gear wheel and select Edit Page from the menu.
Click the zone where you want to add the web part. This will often be the Right zone or a Bottom zone if you want to use it as a footer, but it can be anywhere you want.
Click “Content Rollup” in the web part gallery and you will see Summary Links.

SL-webpart gallery
The Summary Links web part can be found under Content Rollup

You can edit the title of the web part, hide it, and do the usual things via the web part menu. Adding links and groups and changing style are done in the web part itself.

SL-Webpart config
All “work” on the content is done in this Edit view

Adding links

If you want to group your links, it is best to create your groups first so you can add any new link to an existing group immediately. You can select a style later.
Adding a link gives you the following screen:

SL-New Link
The New Link screen.

You can either browse for pictures or for the items you want to link to (e.g. pages or documents that live in your site or site collection) or you can paste the URL’s.

How to change the styles for links and groups

Now, suppose you have some links added to your web part and you are curious to see how they display on the page. Click “Stop editing” and see what your page looks like. The default setting is quite good, but there are other options.

To change the style, put your page in Edit mode again, go to the web part and select “Configure Styles and Layout”.
You then get the screen below which allows you to select one of 13 Links styles and one of 7 group styles. That’s 91 combinations to choose from!

You can change the default style of newly added links, but also change all existing links in one go.

To save you time, I have created a Summary Links web part and tried all styles and groups. They are in the file below so you can easily scroll through them to see

  1. What the web part itself looks like (left)
  2. How the page looks with this style (right). The size of the web part will vary greatly depending on the style chosen and the rest of the information on the page, so this is a factor to reckon with.

Please view in full size!

Save a copy!

Once you have added all your links, and you are happy with the end result, it is wise to create a copy in case you need a restore. You can do that via Edit page > Open the web part menu > Export. You can then save a copy to your PC and/or in your site.

Enjoy the variety! What is your favorite style?

Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



7 thoughts on “91 ways to display Summary Links

  1. Veronique Palmer July 5, 2017 / 7:13 pm

    91 ways? 🙂 Can I expect 90 more articles on this? 🙂

    • Ellen van Aken July 5, 2017 / 10:28 pm

      Haha! I do not think it deserves that many posts. That is why I combined them all into one slideshow. 😉

      • AJ March 9, 2018 / 2:41 am

        This is one of my favorite web parts and was really looking forward to seeing the 91 different ways to display them with actual examples. Unfortunately the slide show provided only has 15 slides, and considering two of the included slides are narrative, that leaves only 13 different examples provided, as opposed to the 91 advertised. But I really did appreciate learning how to utilize this to create in my page footers. Diffintely speed up building master pages on future projects. Happy SharePointing

      • Ellen van Aken March 9, 2018 / 7:09 am

        Hi AJ, I thought making 91+ slides would be a bit too much, that is why I combined the different options for headers and links, hoping people would be able to combine them in their head 🙂
        Best regards, Ellen

  2. Nancy Skaggs (@Nanskatoon) January 15, 2018 / 7:43 pm

    Excellent overview! I love the advice to export a copy just in case. One thing I wanted to mention is- I believe it is the case that the site must have Publishing enabled, or the web part will not be available under “Content Rollup.” So if you aren’t finding it, check to make sure the site has publishing activated.

    • Ellen van Aken January 16, 2018 / 10:08 am

      Thanks, Nancy! I have just checked and the web part is also available in the Content Rollup on a team site without Publishing enabled. At least in my setup.

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