Our user actively use the OOB "reusable content" function to dynamic update their pages. Each "reusable content" item is applying to 10-20 pages.

Let's say one day user is going to remove one of "reusable content" item. How can he list all related pages for review purpose?


Unless you click on "Automatic Update" it simple copy-pastes in the resuable-content in a new page and then forgets about it.

If you do have Automatic Update on the other hand, the pages instead store references to the resuable content (not the content itself) and fetches the reusable content on render:

The "storage format" of the content in a Publishing HTML field uses a special <div> element as a "header" and corresponding <span> elements to designate the placeholders where reusable content is to be inserted (note that I'm only talking about reusable content that is specified to automatically update).

The "view format" of the content is generated by reading the "header" and subsequently replacing the corresponding placeholders that follow. Hence I tend to refer to this as the "expanded" HTML. In most cases, you can get the expanded HTML using out-of-the-box SharePoint functionality.

And here is a mockup of how the HTML looks in a page using two sections of reusable content):

<div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection">
    <a href="/ReusableContent/1_.000">a</a>
    <a href="/ReusableContent/3_.000">a</a>
    Here is some reusable content...</p>
    <span id="__publishingReusableFragment"></span>
    ...and here is some more:</p>
    <span id="__publishingReusableFragment"></span>

(Source of above and more details here)

This leads me to believe, that if you remove a reusable content it would just not render in the pages anymore leaving no need for finding the pages that uses it.

  • If a reusable item has "Automatic Update" checked for it then surely SharePoint does have a connection stored? Otherwise how would it update this reusable item on each page it is used when the reusable item is updated? – Submits May 7 '15 at 9:54
  • Oh, I have totally missed that feature! – Robert Lindgren May 7 '15 at 9:56
  • The next question then is: where is this connection stored? Hmm! – Submits May 7 '15 at 9:57
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    @Submits there is a "Reusable HTML” content type. It probably contains a field to store links to pages where it is used. Maybee one should start digging in that content type! – Robert Lindgren May 7 '15 at 10:00
  • The fields in the ReusableHTML content type are Title, Comments, Content Category, Automatic Update, Show in drop-down menu and Reusable HTML. None of these seem to suggest a storage of links or connections to pages. Perhaps there exist hidden fields (going beyond my capabilities now..) – Submits May 7 '15 at 10:03

If the content is a section of text, you could attempt to use SharePoint's search to find all pages with this particular text.

Perhaps you could also customise Search to search in page sources, although I have never done this myself.

  • It is not easy to search through source code. I am trying to open "Pages" library with explorer view, then use some software to find "/ReusableContent/" string in the aspx files. – Mark L May 8 '15 at 1:56

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