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I am using an XSLTWebPart in SharePoint 2013 and when the user clicks on other elements of the page (outside the web part) certain sections trigger the webpart losing all selected items. I am continuing to debug through the SharePoint JavaScript files but I thought someone else might know which code specifically is triggering the selection removed and how to stop it?

I believe the WpClick method is involved but so far have not been able to find out how. I've tried on-prem and also Office 365 I have the same problem in both.

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OK, figured it out. The function is DeselectAllWPItems() in core.js. The following code (you have to make sure core.js is already loaded using either ExecuteOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded or something similar). In my case I have actions which fire when the first item is selected so I apply it then.

The key for me was using the debug versions of the JavaScript files on prem and then searching for the s4-itm-selected class that I saw was being removed as they were selected.

//remove this built-in core.js function to prevent random clicks from removing the selected items
DeselectAllWPItems = function() { return; }

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