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Making the most of modern SharePoint pages

SharePoint has become so much more than it used to be with all the awesome Microsoft Office 365 apps that are nicely interconnected, but one of the core elements of SharePoint had been lacking. That core element was pages!

Yes, modern pages are fast and responsive, but they had been missing some key bits of functionality. Now there's some good news and things are finally changing!

Page management

One of the pieces of the puzzle that's been missing with modern SharePoint pages is the ability to add metadata while on the page. The more content that's put into SharePoint the smarter you need to be about classifying this content to ensure your users can find the content!

For modern pages it doesn't work exactly how classic pages do. It requires an extra click of "Page Details" and a panel slides in where you can set your metadata for the page.

Steps to add page metadata:

  • Add custom metadata to the Pages library
  • Open a modern page
  • Click Edit
  • Click on Page Details
  • Edit the metadata fields as required

Page approvals

Another major piece of the puzzle that’s finally here is the ability to have an approval process in place before modern pages go live.

To set page approvals up:

  • Go to the Pages library in your SharePoint site
  • Click on Flow and from the drop-down click Create a page approval flow

A panel will pop out from the right of the page. Go ahead and click Create

Give the flow a meaningful title and choose the approver group or individuals

  • Click Create and you now have your page approval mechanism setup

Now let's go and test out the new page approval flow.

  • Go to any existing page in the site or create a new one
  • You will notice the page is in Draft and you have a new button Submit for approval

  • Click Continue

  • Another screen appears that allows you to add a message to go along with your page approval request

  • Click Submit and you are on the way to approval happiness

While the page is waiting patiently for approval, it will show Pending approval on the page and at this point you can review approvals and see where things are at

When you click Review approvals, it will show you who the approval has been sent to and give you the status. At this point you can send another email to the approvers if you need something approved in a hurry.

  • An email will be sent to the approvers
  • The approval email will look like the screenshot below, where the approver can supply comments within the email 

  • Once the approval has been submitted the page will then become live


A new feature that’s now available is the option to create a news digest with your SharePoint news within a site.

To create a newsletter that you email, follow the below steps:

  • If you have a news web part on a page with enough news items you will get a See all link (as shown below). Click on See all

  • From the next screen you can manage your news posts and you have the option of Emailing a news digest

  • Click Email a news digest
  • Tick the relevant news posts you want to include in the newsletter and click Next

  • Give your newsletter a name, add a message and include who you want to send it to
  • Click Send news digest

How to keep current

With the pace of change on Office 365, it's important to keep up with what's coming down the pipeline.

There are a few ways of staying in the loop.

  1. Go to Office 365 roadmap
  2. Download the Office 365 admin app. Great for catching up while out and about.
  3. Keep on top of message center in the Microsoft 365 admin center

How to get the latest for Office 365 as soon as possible

To ensure you get your hands on the latest features and updates from Office 365 ensure you setup release preferences as targeted release. You can set this up for all users in your tenant or for a select group of users.


To ensure new features and updates are tested before they are let out into the wild and to help manage change in your organisation it’s a good idea to setup targeted release for selected users.

To do this follow the below steps:

  • Go to the admin portal
  • Click on Settings and select Organization profile
  • Scroll down to Release preferences and click on the Edit button
  • Put a check against Targeted release for selected users and click Next
  • Confirm the prompt and in the preceding screen select the relevant people

How can Empired help? 

Empired provide expertise across the entire Office 365 landscape and SharePoint On-premises. To help take advantage of all the great functionality that both Office 365 and SharePoint On-Premises provides, please reach out and we’ll be happy to assist.

Posted by: Linden Hocking, Principal Consultant, Enterprise Solutions | 29 August 2018

Tags: SharePoint, Digital

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