Adding Views to a SharePoint Survey

When I am working with SharePoint lists and libraries, one of the common tasks that I expect to do often is create alternate views of the items.  By default, SharePoint only provides a single view, All Documents or All Items for libraries or lists respectively.  Sure, some of the special lists types like the Task list includes a few other predefined views such as My Tasks or Past Due Tasks.  In all of these cases, if one of the predefined views does not provide exactly what I want, I can often create a custom view.  I can even promote one of my custom views to be the default view.  (Note, only one view in a library or list can be the default view.  When I promote another view to become the default view, the original default view is demoted to a regular view.  Additionally, I can delete only regular views from a library or list.  Therefore, to delete the default view, I must first promote or create a new view and make it the default.)

So when I created a survey for use without our organization, I looked at the available built-in views.  There were three; All Responses, Graphic View and XXXX.  They are fine for most purposes, but I wanted to create a slightly different view.  So I opened the survey list from the All Contents page and clicked the List tab.  Normally I would expect to then click on the List Settings option, scroll to the bottom of that page where the current views appear and click on Add a New View.  But when I got to the bottom of the List Settings page, surprise, there was no list of current views and there was no option to create a new view.

One of the things that many people who have worked with SharePoint know is that even when a particular list or library does not display a specific administration page like the page to create a new list, that page still can be opened if you know the URL and how to specify any query string parameters for the page.  One way to do this is to open another list or library that has the page you want and look at the URL.  So I opened a different list and clicked on Create View from the very bottom of the List Settings page.  This returned a URL like the following which I copy into NotePad so I can edit it more easily:

Notice the current list is identified with a GUID that is unique to my list on a specific site.  I will replace this GUID with the GUID for the survey.  So next I open the survey and select Settings from the options in the heading bar as shown below:


Notice that on the Survey Settings page that if I scroll all of the way down to the bottom of the page, I will not see a list view or an option to create a view.  However, that is ok because the URL in the URL bar at the top of the Survey Settings screen displays the information I need, namely the GUID for the Survey.


I can now copy just the last portion of the URL, the list GUID into my previous statement replacing the original GUID.  I may also need to change the reference to the site and list (survey).  Should then have a new URL like the one shown below which I’ve been editing in Notepad that I can copy and paste into the URL box of my browser.


The Create View page appears for the Survey and I can either create a new view from one of the view templates displayed at the top of the page or I can use one of the existing views to create my custom view.  I do want to give a view a unique name and I do not want to make my new view the default view.  Suppose I call my new view: MPASurveyView, define all the view parameters, and click OK at the bottom of the Create View page.

Now when I open the Survey list and display the default view (which defaults to the All Responses view), I can use the dropdown list to display the possible views for the survey which now includes my new view definition: MPASurveyView.


If I want to change the view used on the home page of the survey, I need to use a different method.  First, I open the survey’s home page and click on the Show all responses link.  Next I select Edit Page from the Site Actions dropdown.


The page in Edit mode looks like any other SharePoint page with a large web part that displays the data.  I identify the web part that displays the responses and scroll to the right if necessary to access the web part’s dropdown menu as shown below.

From the dropdown, I select Edit Web Part to display the edit parameters for the web part.  I could either change the view that this link displays or I can click the Edit the current view option to edit the All Responses view.


After making my changes and clicking OK, SharePoint updates the Show All Responses link to display my update or new view.

One last note.  If you want to be able to download the survey data to Excel, it appears that you can only do this from the default view.  So, if you want to change the data that exports to Excel, you may want to use the latter method above to simply modify the All Responses view.

C’ya next time.

10 comments on “Adding Views to a SharePoint Survey

  1. I have seen several pages talk about adding a view by using the manual URL with ViewType. However, this does not work. Any view you add, regardless of settings, looks exactly like the Overview view. If you use the Edit Page site action on the custom view, there is nothing there to edit. If you add the survey as a webpart then try to edit that part, it fails saying it has been removed. Furthermore, once added there is no way to remove the view because those controls do not exist for a Survey. Even if these issues were not the case, you can’t edit a view once made because again those controls do not exist for this list type. All around, this seems like bad advice that needs several warnings at the very least, if they worked. I’m not sure why there is such a huge difference here, I’m on Sharepoint 2010 Enterprise.

    • I agree with previous comment from Ebonweaver. I’ve followed the steps above, and similar steps from other sites and I only ever get a view that looks like Overview view. Worse than that, if you start trying to edit existing views using these techniques above, it is very easy to completely break even the existing views, in which case you need to delete/trash your survey (and however long you’ve spent setting it up), and start from. I learned (the hard way) to save my survey as a template before I started fiddling so I could also create a fresh instance, but still a major PIA. I’m using the Sharepoint Enterprise on 365 cloud

  2. Pingback: Tweaking the built-in Survey List | Thoughts on SP Here

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