SharePoint 2010 Bug – Hiding Empty Web Part Zones

I recently experienced a problem running SharePoint Server 2010 Oct 2013 CU and Internet Explorer 8. SharePoint has contained a function called MSO_MakeInvisibleIfEmpty() since the WSS 3.0 days, which hides a Web Part Zone if it is empty. The function works by looking for all elements in the DOM that have the name attribute set to “_invisibleIfEmpty”, and if there are no child nodes, it adds a style of display=”none”.

The function has the following definition:

function MSOLayout_MakeInvisibleIfEmpty()
	var allElements=document.getElementsByName("_invisibleIfEmpty");
	var agt=navigator.userAgent.toLowerCase();
	var isNav=((agt.indexOf('mozilla')!=-1)&&((agt.indexOf('spoofer')==-1) && (agt.indexOf('compatible')==-1)));
	var isIE=(agt.indexOf("msie")!=-1);
	for (var curElement=0; curElement < allElements.length; curElement++)
		if ((isIE && allElements[curElement].childNodes.length==0)
			|| (isNav && allElements[curElement].childNodes.length <=1))

This function lives in the files IE50UP.js, IE55UP.js, and NON_IE.js, with SharePoint loading the appropriate file depending on your browser.

I am seeing the bug when running IE8 in native mode, in which case none of the 3 available JavaScript files are being loaded. If I turn on IE Compatibility Mode, or use Firefox or Chrome, the appropriate JavaScript files load.

As a work-around to this bug, I have pasted the contents of this function into a minified JavaScript file that I am using on my intranet’s home page.

2 thoughts on “SharePoint 2010 Bug – Hiding Empty Web Part Zones

    1. Dimitri Ayrapetov Post author

      Hi Umair, this code sets the Div of your Web Part Zone to not display. Setting the “Display:none” in CSS causes the browser to pretend that the Div does not exist, and hides it completely. If you are seeing any spaces, check the surrounding elements to see if there is a margin or padding being applied.

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