Create a custom view and rss feed of a Sharepoint Online 2013 survey

A unique feature of the “survey” app in Sharepoint Online is the built in branching logic which makes it a useful choice for questionnaires etc. But if you want to customize the results view that users can see, you’ll find that Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, has intentionally hidden the standard “create a view” option in the survey (aka list) settings.

The create view url

Fortunately, it’s only “hidden” and can easily be accessed if you know the correct url. To find that url, open up a regular list, click the “list” tab and “list settings” in the ribbon, and the “create view” link. The url format is:

https://<domain>/_layouts/15/ViewType.aspx?List=%7GUID%7D&Source=URL TO REDIRECT TO

So the magic page address is “ViewType.aspx” and if you combine that with your survey’s GUID , you can create your own views.

To do that, navigate to “site contents” and click the tile for your survey. Under the “settings” link, click “survey settings”.  Note the url and replace “survedit.aspx” with “ViewType.aspx” and open the page. You’ll now see the standard list view creation page and can begin creating your own custom view.

Your custom view won’t appear as a choice in the view section of the settings page (which is hidden),  but it will appear in the view choices link up at the top right of any view page.

My rss feed is empty?

Another annoying omission in survey lists is the availability of the rss feed url. Normally, if rss is enabled in the list settings, you’d click the rss icon in the settings ribbon to see the feed and grab the feed url. Not so in a survey list, where the ribbon doesn’t appear and the rss icon under “Actions” opens an empty feed. It looks to me like the url generated there is missing the view guid and so is empty, and most likely a bug.

If you want the correct feed url,  open the appropriate view page, edit it, open the web part properties and click “edit current view”. To the right of the “web address of this view” url, you’ll see a tiny rss icon which, if clicked, will reveal the correct feed from which you can get the feed url. In this case the page name is “listfeed.aspx”, so you can also manually combine that with the list and view GUID’s to get the feed url:

/_layouts/15/listfeed.aspx?List=LIST GUID&View=VIEW GUID

The last survey question about Sharepoint surveys

The only remaining mystery about survey lists in Sharepoint Online is what benefit Microsoft sees in hiding the ability to create views and get rss urls….feel free to comment if you want to tackle that one!

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