Category Archives: InfoPath 2010

Be careful when changing a list while using InfoPath to customize the form…

So, yesterday I’m working away on migrating a form we have into a SharePoint list.  I build all the columns, and then start customizing the form with InfoPath.  All is going well.  That is, until I made changes to the list columns.  I found out very quickly that you need to pay attention to when you do this in relation to the InfoPath form editing.

If I make the column changes in the list and then open the form up for editing in InfoPath, I get the following message:

Basically, the list has changed, and would you like to have your InfoPath form updated with the new list of fields?  For me, the answer is yes.

The mistake I made was once again updating columns in the list, but neglecting to close the InfoPath editing session first.  That gives you *this* message when you save the InfoPath form:

Basically, you changed the list columns, but the InfoPath form doesn’t know about those changes.  So I’ll just overwrite the column changes and make the list match this InfoPath form, OK?

No, not really!

The two different situations make sense when I think about it, so that’s not really an issue.  The problem is that it’s easy to think you’re answering the wrong question if you don’t pay close attention and just quickly choose the option to continue.  Fortunately in my case, the changes I lost were to two new fields that I could quickly recreate.  It could have been much worse.

Recommendation… Make sure your InfoPath editing session for the list is closed before making column changes.  THEN you can open up your form and continue…

What do you mean I can’t customize my list with InfoPath?

This’ll teach me to not try new things on the spur of the moment… 🙂

I was setting up a new site collection, nothing fancy.  Normally when I do that, I base it off the Team Site template, just because it gives me a few of the lists that users might want.  This time, I decided to go with a Blank template.

I’ll just keep it basic, I thought…

All was fine, custom list created, columns added.  Now time to customize the list forms in InfoPath, and… Where’s my Customize Form ribbon bar button for the list?

I hate things that should be so simple to “fix”, but still take me a long time to figure out.  Turns out that many of the Site Collection Features I take for granted by basing a site off of the Team Site template aren’t there for a Blank template.  After some back-and-forth comparison, I found that I needed to activate the SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection features option.  Once I did that, I got my Customize Form icon back, and I can carry on.

I’ll note that here so when I forget about it in three months and hit it again (because I don’t learn), I’ll vaguely remember… “Hey, didn’t I solve this once a while back?”


One of my favorite InfoPath training sources: Qdabra’s free Thursday webinars

Here’s a shoutout to a great source of free online training that’s quick and concise (and often very practical)… Qdabra’s free Thursday webinars.




Their Thursday webinars (at 8 am Pacific time, so *very* convenient for me) are only about 30 minutes long, so they get to point without much fluff.  Even though Qdabra has SharePoint software to sell, they don’t tie every webinar to something you have to buy from them.  It’s just very good information that is perfect for those of us who are always looking for some tip that will improve our solutions and sites.



This form cannot be opened in a Web browser. To open this form, use Microsoft InfoPath.

I have an InfoPath 2010 form that is used in a particular site, and it’s designed to be used with InfoPath Filler as the client.  I use a URL similar to the following on the site home page to allow the user to launch the form:


Of course, it works for me, as well as 99% of all other users.  But for a few people, the following error shows up after clicking the link:

Generally I have the help desk make sure that their OS and browser is set to launch .xsn files as InfoPath, but in this one particular case it didn’t seem to make a difference.  The user was still getting the error.  What gives?

It turns out that if you’re using a non-Internet Explorer browser like Firefox, you’ll get this error.  Since we use IE as our “standard” in-house browser, it’s a matter of having them use IE instead of Firefox or Chrome or whatever.

I realize the right answer would be to “fix” things so that .xsn files would be launched correctly (with InfoPath Filler) regardless of the browser being used.  But there doesn’t seem to be a way to add .xsn files to Firefox as a “new” application to use.  Given this particular situation, I’m fine with just figuring out the “why” that caused this not to work for the user in the first place.