Themes in SharePoint 2010

So, followers of this blog will know that I seem to get quite a lot of branding tasks, and that I don’t much like themes, preferring to use either the AlternateCssUrl and Features instead. Features are great – you can deploy the CSS/image files you need, set master pages (and handle Meeting Workspaces), themes, AlternateCssUrls. They can also add HTTP Modules for branding Application Pages.

Themes, on the other hand, are fiddly to install automatically, don’t work on the DatePicker, and are individual to each site once applied. To pick up changes to a global theme, you’d have to apply a different theme and then reapply the desired theme – for every site.

Well, that was with SharePoint 2007. SharePoint 2010 is a bit different, as I got to find out on a Combined Knowledge course in January (and this is the first time I’ve managed to write about it!) Continue reading “Themes in SharePoint 2010”

Themes in SharePoint 2010

PowerPoint Slideshows (.pps) open as PowerPoint Files

Hmm. One of our salesmen called up today with an interesting problem. We’d published some PowerPoint presentations as slide shows (.pps files). If you open one of these, it should just launch PowerPoint into the presentation. However, he was opening them from our website and they were opening as a normal PowerPoint (.ppt) file. That is they were opening ready for editing, not in presentation mode. Weird.

I remembered having seen this before, but a bit of poking around showed that my fix was still in place. Curious. When I clicked on the link to the presentation I got the ‘Download or Open’ dialog thingy:

Vista's File Open or Save Dialog in Internet Explorer

First off I noticed that the file extension was .pps – good. I tried opening the file – and it opened it as if it were a .ppt file. Weird. So then I tried the other option – I saved it to my local machine and opened it locally. This time it opened correctly – it opened as a slideshow.

Hmm. So, they’re the same file, but something different is happening when they open. I wondered if it was to do with the HTTP headers, but the same difference occurs when the file is being served with the application/ or just text/html (we run MCMS 2002 on a IIS webserver but publish as static content to an Apache server. They serve the file as different mime types, but have the same result – Open opens the file for editing and Save and open shows the slideshow).

Next up, I tried the same experiment using Firefox. If you choose to Open the file rather than save it, it opens the slideshow – correctly! And if you save it, well, it saves the .pps file which, again, opens correctly.

text/html mime-type application/ mimetype
“Open” “Save” and open “Open” “Save” and open
Firefox OK OK OK OK

So it looks like Internet Explorer will not open a .pps file as a slideshow irrespective of the mime type sent by the server and the .pps extension (and it’s file association in windows). However, if you save the file locally, it will. Weird.

The only thing that I can think is that this is some sort of security feature, but it’s a bit odd – after all, shouldn’t Firefox do this then?

PowerPoint Slideshows (.pps) open as PowerPoint Files