Setting Anonymous Access to Lists and other tribbles.

Tonight was a comedy of errors. I had to fix up a site I had done, because some things were just *not* working after a “re-do”.  So lets work through my issues and my fixes shall we?


1. I had customized the content query web part to show a title, summary, category and created date. Simple enough you would think. But the Summary had html tags showing in the “Summary” text area, instead of just the text.

2. My “add new item to list” for anonymous users was prompting for authorization before the site would let you into the NewItems.aspx page.

3. My anonymous user style sheet was a VERY OLD version of my logged in style sheet. Again simple issue you would think.

So thanks to my twitter buddies Dave Coleman and Zlatan Dzinic I was able to figure out and fix these issues.


1. Content Query Web Part Issue

I was using the  “Rich Text” formatt for a multi line text box called Summary. In my CQWP, this rendered the HTML tags with it. So you had <div><p>Testing</p></div instead of just plain “Testing”. I changed the column type in List Settings to Plain text, and this sorted this issue out. I am still investigating how to render those HTML tags when using the CQWP, and will hopefully have an answer soon.

2. Allowing Anonymous Users to Add new List Items

This was the bug bear of the evening for me, and thanks to Dave’s patience and testing we were able to nail the issue. My site had anonymous user access set correctly AND my list had anonymous user access set to “view items” and “Add new items”.  Dave pointed me to his blog post: How to allow anonymous users to comment on your SharePoint 2010 Blog -> this is exactly how you must do it, for lists, comments and almost everything 🙂 -> It still wasn’t working so I did what every good geek does: I went back to step 0 and started again. In my case this was turning on “Inherit permissions”, then turning it off again and setting up the anonymous access. This worked!

One lesson this showed me what if in doubt start from step 0.

3. Anonymous Style sheet not the same as Logged In User Style Sheet

Yes, I hear you all scream “CHECK IT IN”. It was – and the only styles that were not working were the CQWP styles.  And I double checked the check in, by checking out and checking in again. This didn’t work. Strangely enough and I am not sure why, after setting anonymous access correctly on the list, and doing an “edit web part” to change a few dimensions and fields, it kicked in and started to work. Again, more research needed from me, but it worked, and looked just right.


When in doubt, ask.
When you need testing done, try get some one who has never accessed your site before, so you can get “true” results.
When all else fails, go to Step 0, and try again.
If it is still failing, ASK.

Thanks again to  Dave Coleman and Zlatan Dzinic – I really appreciate the time and the effort 🙂 and you can go view the finished product here : Phoenix Human Capital

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