Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tips to use SharePoint 2013 discussion board attachments

In SharePoint 2010 it was difficult to view attachments since you need to view the property of the discussions in order to find there are attachments. Microsoft has pumped new life into the Discussion Board user interface in SharePoint 2013. There were new changes in UI and one of the changes is that users are able to see the attachments for discussion board directly from the view as in the following screen shot.

The new 2013 discussion board allow attachments to be stored in any document libraries besides the default Site Asset library. You could select the document libraries when uploading the attachments. While we are excited to see many new functions for discussion board, we identified several issues that might impact the usability of the new discussion board and some tips to utilize the new functions.

The first tip to use discussion board is that you should select  “Require Check Out” to No for any document libraries that will store the attachments. If the document library requires check out, you will get message to check in when adding attachment. Although the attachment will be uploaded to the library, it will not be displayed in discussion board.You could see this in previous screen shot on reply 2 and you could not see the attachment.

Second tip is you should use default Site Asset library for all discussion board attachments. The discussion board attachments will be organized into the following folder: Site Assets ->Lists->Discussion Names->View. If you upload the attachments into other libraries, you will not be able to find those attachments easily.

Third tip is if you remove the attachments used for discussion board, you would also need to remove the reference from discussion board to avoid the data integrity issue. You could go directly to site asset library or other library to remove the attachments used for discussion board. However, even the attachments are removed, the links or reference from discussion board will still be there as in previous screen shot as Test1.txt. When users click the link to the attachment, users will getfile not found error. It will be difficult if the attachments are stored in other library rather than Site Asset.

Fourth tip is to manage the right permissions if you store attachments to different libraries rather than site asset library. If users do not have permission to the library but have permission to the discussion board, users could see the links to the attachment and could remove them from the view. However, when they click the links to the attachments, they will get Sorry you do not have access this page error.

The fifth tip is not to create new views or modify existing views for discussion board at least at this time on RTM version. You will get the following error when you try to do this as other users reported.

You could apply some customizations to discussion board but you would need to be aware of the change will apply to the view your are working on.

You could post images and videos into discussion board as display them directly with discussions. Enjoy the new functions of the 2013 new discussion board.


  1. How can i add attachments to the discussion board, "Attach File" option is not available.

  2. Hi,
    I would like to ask your help regarding the tip 2. It is just a suggestion to use the "Site Assets" as the default library for attachment files, or is that possible to set it as a realy default library for the attachments. We have really problems with the libraries because the users do not understand that they should choose from different libraries to store the documents somewhere and possibly they should use the "Site Assets" library for discussion board attachments.
    Could you please help me with this question?
    Thanks a lot,