Comprehensive SharePoint News Overview - Character Test
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SharePoint Online
Sep 28, 2023 2:07 PM

Comprehensive SharePoint News Overview - Character Test

by HubSite 365 about Ellen van Aken
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SharePoint OnlineM365 Hot News

Maximize SharePoint News visibility - explore how description field length, layout, and other factors affect character display.

Ellen van Aken's latest blog post delved into the Description field of SharePoint Online, exploring the number of characters the field exhibits on different web part layouts. Users often want to know the extent of text that can be displayed in certain layouts - a question the author resolved by running multiple tests.

For testing, Ellen employed a string of 270 characters, partitioned into 27-character clusters. Using this method, the text components presented quick insights into the character display across diverse web part and page layouts. She ran these analyses on different page layouts, with and without system text such as typeface and font, and used alphabet strings in differing combinations.

Ellen also undertook an analysis of different page configurations. She used one page, always with the same News web part, and switched between section and web part layouts for the exercise. Comparisons were made across multiple section layouts and display options (though not all were included in the test). Both the longest and shortest descriptions were tested, and her trials were run both with and without Author, Views, and Published date visibility.

Computer and Screen Settings

Ellen’s browser of choice for the tests was Edge, with a 100% zoom setting. Her computer settings were: Scale 125% and display resolution 1920 x 1080. She then dove into analyzing the different results from the trials contrasts such as single and multi-column displays, and different web part layouts.

Letitia's research suggests that the characters displayed in the description primarily depended on a combination of factors. The width of the column, the layout of the web part, visibility of publishing specifics, and the actual text used, all influenced the display. A shift in these factors could drastically change the visibility of description text.

The analyst also realized that the type of character used in the description text influence the number of characters displayed. Wide letters engage more space, and consequently, show fewer characters, while narrow letters display more characters.

Additionally, Ellen noted that certain factors such as zoom level and window size might affect the number of characters shown. She concluded that the driving factor was the available space in the column rather than the number of characters.

In conclusion, despite the exhaustive nature of her trials, Ellen offered a few recommendations for making efficient use of the SharePoint Online Description field. These suggestions, effective Explore more, in certain cases, for the character display while creating and presenting data in the web part.

She suggested using a one-column layout, removing any publishing specifics, and keeping descriptions short. It would reduce reader effort and attract more viewership. Using front-loading, or placing the most critical words at the start of your title, was another tip she shared. She advised against using company names everywhere, unless it was crucial to the context.

Read the full article SharePoint News Description - A test of character(s)

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Learn about SharePoint News Description - A test of character(s)

If you've ever queried how many characters from the Description field are visible on the web part in your specific page layout, you'll find this enlightening. Through various testing, interesting observations were made to help streamline your SharePoint Online experience.

Commencing with Texts

An alphabet text of 270 characters, comprising ten portions of 27 characters, was utilized for this experiment. An expectation was set that the full Description (255 characters) would show the 9 and the letter 'l' as the final letter, to gauge display discrepancies between various web part and page layouts.

Page Layout Engagement

An identical page with the similar News web part was used for all experiments, rotating through different Section and Web Part layouts. Differences were especially noticeable when the layout was manipulated to be one, two, or three columns, or the one-third right layout. Showcases of the News web part were also adjusted, with only Top Story, List, and Side-by-side setups being tested, since the Hub News, Carousel, and Tiles omit the Description.

Consideration of Computer and Screen Settings

These variations were conducted on a Microsoft Edge browser, zoomed to 100%, with a Scale of 125% and a Display resolution of 1920 x 1080 on the computer settings. The findings, including screenshots, were then compared and contrasted.

Results of the Experiment

Considering various page layouts, differing numbers of displayed characters were evident. For example:

  • In a One Column layout, Top Story showed 73 characters, while List showed 111, and Side-by-side displayed 51.
  • In a Two Column layout, Top Story, List, and Side-by-side all showcased 51 characters.

Additional Factors

Further testing revealed an increase in display characters when Author, Publishing Date, and Views were omitted from the web part. For instance, the initial experiment of One column - List displaying 111 characters evolved to showing 255 characters, with the removal of publishing details.

The physical letters used in your text, such as i (narrow) or w (wide), were noted to have a significant impact on the number of visible characters. For instance, in One Column – List format, using 'w' accounted for 77 characters, 'i' featured 219, and the alphabet form resulted in 111.

Conclusions and Recommendations Drawn

To summarise, significant influencers of your SharePoint Online experience include: Column width, Web part layout, visibility of publishing details, and the actual words used. It's worthwhile remembering that your texts and page layouts can greatly sway the number of visible Description characters.

Tips to optimize your experience could entail using the One-column layout with the List view, refraining from including publishing details, keeping descriptions concise, front-loading your descriptions, and avoiding using your company name in the title unless necessary.

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