SharePoint 2013 – RSS Viewer breaks Summary Links styling

I was recently working on some simple site collection migrations from SharePoint 2007 to SharePoint 2013 on-premises using Metalogix’s Content Matrix. It’s a very simple move and I wasn’t carrying over any branding or themes from my 2007 site. I did, however, need to apply a new theme (just colors, fonts, & style sheet) to my 2013 site collection using the Design Manager. Everything worked great. I then went to rearranging my content on the page to work better with 2013 but decided to start fresh adding App Parts and Web Parts.

The Problem

I first added a Summary Links web part to make several pages and other links easy to find. The web part took on the custom styling as expected. For this illustration I am using an OOtB theme to eliminate the possibility of my own bad CSS.

Ugly Orange Syling
Styling prior to adding the RSS Viewer Web Part


All is well, right. Now let’s add an RSS Viewer web part to the page.

Styling with RSS Viewer Added
The link colors no longer follow the orange theme
The link colors no longer follow the orange theme

What Happened?

It appears that this is a bug with how SharePoint 2013 handles styles in the Summary Links web part if an RSS viewer is present. Even before you add your RSS path the styling for the Summary Links goes awry. Who knows – maybe the styling on the RSS Viewer is broken too because it is not taking on the color package for the links either.

I really though that this was my own doing when I initially came across this because I was using somebody else’s color and font packages as well as some slightly modified CSS. It wasn’t until I was able to get to a user group meeting (DFWSPUG) that I was able to confirm that it wasn’t me. Cathy Dew (@catpaint1) from Planet Technologies happened to be giving the talk, and she also happens to be a UX and design genius. She was able to confirm immediately that she had experienced the same thing – broken styling when RSS Viewers and Summary Links are used together on the same page.

What Do I Do Now


I really like Summary Link Web Parts. I use them often to point to other pages or library views that my users need quick access to or otherwise can’t be trained to use. I would prefer to continue using them but I will need to begin using other options when I need to have an RSS Viewer on the page to display news, market information, blogs, etc. For now my alternative is just going to be the on page editor, Content Editor, or a Link List app part. I also may try to find some other RSS web parts from the store because they are surely more elegant than the OOtB offering.

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