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AI-driven Accessibility helper for images in SharePoint Online

Recently a new feature has been added to the authoring process in SharePoint online. This new feature helps you to define appropriate alternative text descriptions for your images on pages. In general to specify alternative text for images is possible the first time in SharePoint history. Previously only the title of an image could be defined.

When a new image gets inserted on a page, the image gets analysed by a background service, which assumes the content of the image and returns an appropriate description. Through the help of pattern recognition and artificial intelligence, the returned values are pretty accurate, at least with the pictures I tested this feature so far.

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Remove Feedback Buttons from SharePoint Footer through Application Customizer

I know the Feedback and Mobile App buttons are essential for Microsoft, but many of my customers ask me to remove it. There a mainly three reasons for that. The first is the location and loading behaviour of those buttons. It takes a while until those buttons are loaded and catch a lot of attention of the user once they are visible on the page.

The second reason is that the location sticky on the bottom of the page might not be the perfect spot for those buttons. I might be more useful to have them somewhere in the header or suite bar.

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Custom SPFx generator: Make Yarn your default package manager

The most straightforward example to make you familiar with how to create a custom SPFx Yeoman generator is to use Yarn instead of NPM as your default package manager. The approach to change the default package manager is simple, and many people already use it as there default package managing solution.

So, instead of adding the ‘–skip-install’ option whenever you start a new project just add this option to a generator.

The first step is, as always, to create a new NPM package.

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Extend the SharePoint generator to your needs?

Whenever you start a new SharePoint project, you might depend on external libraries. These libraries are maybe small helper tools such as jQuery or maybe like to go beyond KnockOut or React. Let’s say you want to use Handlebars, VueJS or perhaps Angular 1.x. Everything you perform the same setup steps in the same order. In my case, I start most new projects using Handlebars. Luckily I wrote my documentation to make the configurations pretty smoothly. To be honest, it is proper training but on the other hand a complete waste of time. Why not automate my personal preferences and start a new project from scratch with my settings already applied. This article takes a look at why you might consider writing your own SharePoint generator in future. [Read more]

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Major CSS Class changes in Communication Site and Workbench

Last weekend I had the opportunity to speak at SharePoint Saturday Helsinki organised by Jussi Roine and Jussi Mori. With more than 170 attendees and 20 speakers, it was the best place to be in Helsinki on this Saturday.

While I was checking my demos for my session, I recognised a problem that currently exists on the Online Workbench for SPFx. The demo based on my blog post on how to make your web parts responsive to the parent container. In this blog post, I make use of the Office UI Fabric grid system class names and colour the content of the web part differently according to the parent container. A method beneficial to support the responsive flow of web parts and to improve the user experience.

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How to use Bootstrap in SharePoint Framework projects

Many developers in the past have use Frameworks such as Bootstrap or Zurb’s Foundation, and from a pure developer perspective, it is clear why to use them. There is yet Office UI Fabric around, but with every new framework, you need to learn those frameworks specifics.

Because it is and was so famous for the use of SharePoint web parts you might like to update some of your existing web parts to the modern experience. Whatever the reason is might by you use it; there are some things to know before such framework can be embedded safely in SharePoint Framework projects.

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How to make your web parts responsive to the parent container

The modern experience is responsive by default, but it doesn’t mean that your web part will be. Especially with the new team sites and communication sites, the behaviour of web parts is as tricky as it ever was. Office UI Fabric doesn’t help you to achieve a significant user experience because it is out of their scope and offers only smaller components or full-page scoped methods, but nothing in between as needed as in web parts.

The surrounding design of a web part, for example, is defined by Office UI Fabric and even the grid system is provided by that toolkit.
When you write a web part, you might worry more about how the same web part behaves in different containers already defined by the overall page design in SharePoint.

Time to show you a trick how this container pages optimisation is possible in the SharePoint Framework and show the basics.

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