Column Names when setting up the Content Query Web Part

So, I’ve been asked to do a look at content roll up options in SharePoint, such as the Content Query Web Part (CQWP), and one of the things I’ve been asked to do is to make it display custom column data. Now, there are lots of articles about this – on MSDN (here and here), Steven Van de Craen has an article about it, and there are lots of other articles about it (those were just the best resources I came across in a quick search). ‘Cos of that, I won’t repeat ’em – I’ll just summarise the steps:

  1. Add extra columns to the selected data (CommonViewFields) by exporting, editing and importing the web. part.
  2. Add a new display format to the ItemsStyle.xsl file.

Okay, so I did this, and one of my extra columns of data I wanted to present was shown (‘Project’), but the
other (‘Project Status’) wasn’t. What was going on?

Well, I sort of figured it was the space in the name – SharePoint does a funny encoding of spaces to _x0020_ which is annoying, and often causes errors. Anyway, I opened up SharePoint Manager to check what the field was called internally – and sure enough, it was called Project_x0020_Status. Fair enough, I’d got the internal name right, but using that still didn’t work.

I decided in the end to have a look at what the fields the CQWP was retrieving. But how to? I could define my own XSL, but I didn’t know what use to get the list of fields. Well, I found the answer on Bart Callaerts web site (actually, there is another good ‘how to customise the CQWP article). Anyway, I’m shamelessly plagiarising just in case that page in unavailable.

His idea was to define an Item Style to show all the columns of the retrieved items. The code for this is:

<xsl:template name="ViewFields" match="Row[@Style='ViewFields']" mode="itemstyle">
<xsl:for-each select="@*">
P: <xsl:value-of select="name()" />
</xsl:for-each>
</xsl:template>

And you can download a copy here – copying and pasting from this page can screw up so of the characters.

Anyway, I used this view to see my items:

Looking through that list of fields, I saw that the name of my column (according to the CQWP) is now Project_x005F_x0020_Status. That’s a bit strange, and I don’t know why that’s happened. I guess that Michael Hoffer’s suggestion (don’t use spaces in the names when you create the columns – add them later) is a good one – I reckon it’d have saved me this trouble!

Anyway, this suggestion worked nicely. I’ve highlighted my data in yellow:

Content Query Web Part showing custom column data.

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Column Names when setting up the Content Query Web Part

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