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i wanted to have a content viewer webpart in my document set welcome page that people could set when their document set was created. i found out that unfortuntely when it is set for one, it applies to ALL of the document set instances. any way around this limitation?

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Using the CEWP, no.

You could, however, approach this a bit differently. For instance, one way you could accomplish this is to create a custom Visual Studio web part. In this web part you could do the following: 1) allow the users to enter and save text, 2) this text gets saved as a hidden field on the document set, 3) the web part displays what that field contains when displaying it. This would allow you to add the web part to each document set instance (like you are currently doing), but it would only interact with the content of the field of the current set.

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let's pretend i have VS 2012 installed, i'm the sharepoint admin and can do whatever i want to the box, and yet i've never (ahem...) created a custom webpart before. where would i find explicit instructions on doing so - your opinion on the best/easiest path? –  April Drake Apr 10 '13 at 19:15
    
Here is a pretty basic overview of how to create a web part (that is wrapping an ASP.NET ASCX user control): learningsharepoint.com/2012/12/24/… –  John Chapman Apr 10 '13 at 19:59

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