I recently wanted to change the default text that appears in all search boxes. By default it shows “Search this site…” and I wanted it to be a little more customized to our environment. It turns out this is very simple to accomplish, and no code! We just need to edit 2 XML files.
We need to edit the SearchArea.xml files in 2 features to make this work in the 14 hive. They are located at:
First, be a good safe SharePoint administrator by making a backup copy of each file before you change anything. Once you do, edit the Searcharea.xml so we can add a property to make the magic happen. After the last <Property> tag above <Control>, insert a new line, and insert the following:
<Property Name="QueryPromptString">Your Desired Text</Property>
Where Your Desired Text is obviously the text you want it to say inside the search box. Like this:
Do the same in the other feature directory and save. Now you have to do an IISRESET and then take a look at your work. Basically what we are doing is overriding the delegate control SmallSearchInputBox. This delegate control is loaded in the master page at:
<SharePoint:DelegateControl runat="server" ControlId="SmallSearchInputBox" />
This delegate control then gets its definitions from the XML files above. If you wanted ensure that this wasn’t overwritten by a service pack or CU update, you could create a new control using Visual Studio and use a lower sequence number which is defined in the XML definition.
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