SharePoint 2010 – Opening a closed Web part

A while back I wrote a post talking about how to open a closed Web part.  Now, before I get too far into this post I should say I’m not a fan of closing Web parts.  My general feeling is that you shouldn’t close Web parts – ever! 

“But John what if I want to save my settings for a Web part? Closing is good for that?” 

Fair question.  However, I still say don’t close Web parts.  If you need to save your settings rather than close it, export the Web part and save it off somewhere.  Or do something to that effect.  Then once you’ve done that delete the Web part from the page.  The reason I take such a strong stance on this topic is that I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve brought up the Web part maintenance page for a client and seen 10, 15, or more closed Web parts sitting on the page.  That’s not a good thing.  They might be closed but they are still impacting the page they are sitting on and putting an unnecessary burden on the page.  Many times causing performance issues.  Let me put it another way, if the ability to close Web parts suddenly disappeared from the product I wouldn’t even notice – my brain has blocked the fact it’s even there.

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Despite my mental block on the functionality – the reality is people close Web parts.  They do it all the time and they end up with so many closed Web parts on the page because they don’t know how to open them. 

How do you do it?

SharePoint 2010 makes it much easier to add closed Web parts.  But to see it, you’ve got to actually close a Web part <shudder> Once you’ve done that you’ll notice when you try to add a Web part to the page you’ll see a new heading called Closed Web Parts.  Simply drag the Web part back onto the page and you are in business.  Much easier than the SharePoint 2007 way!  But just because it’s easier doesn’t mean you should do it! 

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