First let me say I have been all over the web looking for a fix and keep finding references to the XsltTransformTimeOut value. I have already had our admins set ours from 1 to actually 10 seconds and my problem persists. First some background:

  • Site is SP 2010 Foundation (I believe)
  • Site has 4 servers in the farm but only one acting as web front end. SQL backend is clustered DB servers
  • Issue occurs when trying to display a view of a custom list
  • Custom list probably contains 30+ elements but the view in question is only utilizing 14

Now scenario creating problem

  • I open the view file "Summary Test.aspx" in SPD 2010 using "edit file in advanced mode"
  • Once file is open in SPD 2010 on the Design tab I use the Customize XSLT option to "Customize Entire View"
  • At this point I find the tag for the column I am trying to modify and make the following change:

    Current code - <th nowrap="nowrap" scope="col" onmouseover="OnChildColumn(this)">
    My updated code - <th style="width:75px" nowrap="nowrap" scope="col" onmouseover="OnChildColumn(this)">
    As you can see the only thing I have added is style="width:75px"

Upon saving this file and trying to display the view I get the dreaded

"Unable to display web part ...."

with the random correlation ID.

I realize I can use custom css files to accomplish some styling and interestingly enough if I add a custom style sheet to this file (through SPD) and do not add any code directly into the page code the custom css works. However, for this particular view I am only trying to adjust the width of this one column and have not been able to find any unique css elements that I could manipulate that would only affect this one column.

Other things of interest during testing:

  • While XsltTransformTimeout was set to 5 if I saved the above file and viewed the page using a stopwatch sometimes it would error out faster than 5 seconds
  • Usually during a third refresh (first 2 would error out) the page would render correctly in under 5 seconds
  • If I removed some of the fields in the view so that it was down to say 9 columns sometimes (again using stopwatch) the page would randomly error out or render in under 5 seconds

Things of interest during testing now that XsltTransformTimeout is 10 seconds:

  • Now sometimes after saving form it takes longer for it to error out seems longer than 10 seconds but have not tested with a stopwatch
  • It does appear now that upon second refresh (only first view attempt fails) the page renders correctly

I find it very hard to believe that merely adding a style to define column width in a table should cause a 10+ second delay for the transformation thus generating the error scenario. But like the great philospher Alan from the Hangover 2 "I'm at my wits end"

Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. The SP environment is in a corporate setting so my means of implementing a solution are limited. I am the site collection administrator so I can access the entire site structure in SPD and through UNC paths but I have no access to the full SP/OS file structure nor the SP Central Admin interface.


1 Answer 1


When you "Customise entire view" you will notice you suddenly have 4,000 extra lines of code as the XSLT that SharePoint generates is trying to cover lots of eventualities. However, I have not experienced a delay in the range you are suggesting, particularly for such a small data set.

  1. Have you tried setting "Customise entire view" but then not making any changes?
  2. Would a simpler view work for you? You mention you tried adding an external stylesheet and this worked. You could also greatly simplify the stylesheet - probably achieve what you need in 20-25 lines rather than 4,000. There is an intro to XSLT on my blog
  3. I do not anticipate there being any difference but have you tried adding a class rather than a style - then that gives you something to apply your CSS to

All this said, it does seem odd that it is taking so long to render your XSLT with such a small amount of data - even the default 1 second should really be enough. Can you check the loads on the server?

  • Dave I have created a custom CSS file. I am trying to force all date headers in the view to wrap to conserve horizontal space. My CSS includes a "white-space: normal;" reference to override the nowrap definition in core4.css. Changing th class="ms-vh2"... (standard code) to th class="brkhdr" (my custom class) for a single 2 word date column header causes the timeout error condition to occur. Refreshing the page does cause page to load correctly. I know I could just override the white-space value for the standard ms-vh2 style but that wraps all column headings and I only want dates wrapped
    – Bob
    May 6, 2013 at 12:44
  • I think we are mixing up our stylesheets - I was referring to an external XSLT stylesheet as opposed to external CSS styles. It may be possible to insert a custom CSS class with jQuery but as you indicate above it can be a real challenge trying to insert it in the correct place. May 7, 2013 at 9:38

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