Overview about SharePoint Web Parts

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posted by Khoa Quach
on Apr 21, 2017

Engaging with new users to the SharePoint platform, I usually get questions about the SharePoint web parts available. They are legitimate questions as they allow users to understand what they can use Out of the Box. In this article, I will be introducing some of the popular and favorite web parts that can be used across all SharePoint sites.


A distinct feature that will allow you to drop any of the document libraries or list libraries from the current site/subsite to the page. Most common usage is to display a list of documents or events for end users to navigate to.

SharePoint Office 365 Web Parts

All lists and documents libraries can be displayed from the Apps category.

Content Editor

Perhaps the most used web part, it allows you to place content on your SharePoint. The part is available under Media and Content > Content Editor. The user can drop rich content such a videos and images, as well as style content appropriately with the use of the WYSIWYG. An option to edit the content as pure HTML is also available under the Edit Source button.

SharePoint Office 365 Web Parts

The WYSIWYG experience in SharePoint.

An advanced user might take advantage of the Content Link feature available under the properties of the Content Editor web part. This allows referring to a text file that will be directly included in the part. Developers usually use it to ensure that particular content is display exactly as they should OR lock some content on specific pages.

Content Search

One of my favorite web parts, the Content Search web part allows to show items from the search content database and let you organize it with the custom query and templates. It requires a little of training, but the achieved results can be highly complex and custom if used correctly. Add the web part from the Content Rollup > Content Search section. Query builder is available for users to filter and narrow down the results to be displayed on the page.

SharePoint Office 365 Web Parts

An example of the query builder in the settings of the Content Search Web Part.

Moreover, the usage of SharePoint display templates to return the results into the web part will make it easy for anyone with modest HTML/JS skill to set a great web experience to the end users.

SharePoint Office 365 Web Parts

An example of a view using the Content Search Web Part.

Script Editor

A useful part for developers or advanced users, allowing them to add CSS and/or JavaScript directly, rather directly or via references since SharePoint will strip out all references to JavaScript if dropped into the Content Editor Web Part.

Excel Web Access

This part might not be a big feature for some users accustomed to the usage of Excel Online. However, the ability to drop a particular workbook on a SharePoint page might accommodate some users. The Excel Web Access is available under the Business Data > Excel Web Access. Then it will allow displaying an Excel workbook as well set scheduled refresh, allow interaction with PivotTable and PivotChart as well as Typing and Formula Entry. A similar part is available for Visio too.

Display of the Excel Web Access workbook.

Popular Items

This web part will show items recently viewed by your organization. It is available under the Search-Driven Content > Popular items section. The part can show items within the site or aggregate from another site. You can also customize how items are sorted. As new content is discovered by search, this Web Part will display an updated list of items each time viewing the page. Like the Search Content web part, you can edit the template and therefore change the display on the page. The Recently Changed Items perform the same operation on recently modified items.

SharePoint Office 365 Web Parts


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