I would like set an audience on a Summary web part.

This reason for this is the fact that two groups of users have access to the page on which it will be shown, let's say members and admins. One Summary web part will show links to pages in a site to which both groups have access. The other one will show links to pages in a site to which only admins have access. By setting the audience on the second web part to admins, I hope to achieve that this would be hidden for members, thus not showing link to them that they cannot open.

This fails because Sharepoint 2007 SP3 reports "No extact match was found" when entering the name of the group. This happens even if I first search and select the user from the "address book".

The cause seems to be that the name of the group is a substring of the names of some other groups, specifically security groups.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Edit a page.
  2. Add a summary link web webpart.
  3. Edit its properties.
  4. Find the Audience property below Advanced.
  5. Enter the name of the group
  6. Click the check button
  7. Failure: "No exact match was found."
  8. Try again, using the address book.
  9. Search for the group name in Sharepoint groups.
  10. Select it in the results pane.
  11. Click the Add button. Note that it is underlined.
  12. Click OK.
  13. The name is transferred to the audience entry field. Note that it is now in italics and has a red error underlining.
  14. Click the check button
  15. Failure: "No exact match was found."
  16. Click the group name.
  17. Matching names are shown. These are mainly names that have the intended group name as a substring of their descriptions(!) As long as there are mutiple names matching the group name string, it is not possible to save the audience.

Does anybody know how to solve this issue, other than renaming the group, which would cause some problems with our custom code that uses the API and has the group name hard-coded in some places.

  • Have you tried Firefox or Chrome?
    – Shawn
    Jan 23, 2013 at 4:57
  • I tried Firefox 18.0.1, just now. It doesn't work either. What made you think this could be browser related? To me, it looks like a Sharepoint server-side issue. Jan 24, 2013 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


See my previous answer on the exact same issue here SP Group not for Navigation audience but there it is in the Browse! Yargh!

It is a known bug with Target Audience not recognizing groups and can be fixed by providing unique names of SP groups per site collection.

  • You call it a known bug. Do you have any reference to this being confirmed by Microsoft? By the way, it does not simply require uniqueness: the name of the targeted audience must not be a substring in any group name in the site collection or Active Directory. Sep 30, 2013 at 19:27
  • The reference shared via my previous post links to a post on MSDN - which should be considered as reference. Oct 1, 2013 at 17:35
  • Thanks. You are right, the blog is exactly about this issue. I discarded your answer as you wrote "... make sure the names of the SharePoint groups are Unique per site collection.", which is was, in my case. Only, it was also a substring of other names in the site collection and even the Active Directory. Oct 4, 2013 at 7:50

If you are trying to audience to SharePoint groups, take a look at the names of those groups. If they are similar (e.g. group1, group2), could you try renaming one of them so that it is not 'similar' to the other?

Sorry I can't explain root cause - it does appear to be a common occurrence though.

  • I certainly tried with other groups, but as I pointed out in my post, I cannot easily rename the group. In the end, I created a new 'FB_reports' next to 'FB' and used that and it works well. 'FB' is a sub string in many security groups in our domain and 'FB_reports' is not. For now, we are applying this work-around, which has the drawback of having to assign admins to two groups rather than one. Jul 10, 2013 at 14:16

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