SharePoint Survey Customization: Removing User Names from Completed Surveys

I recently received a question regarding customization options in response to an earlier post on creating SharePoint surveys.  Specifically, I was asked about customizing the survey so that the user's name wouldn't appear on the completed surveys page:

I would like to be able to remove the create by: and modifed by: and the bottom of a completed survey. I have turned off My Sites but for some reason when an end user completes the survey and opens it up to modify it at the bottom "create by:" their name is a hyperlink to their mysite and I don't want them going there.

I began my investigation by creating a new test survey, intentionally leaving all settings as their defaults.  I then took the survey and followed up by modifying my response, to ensure that I had created a test environment that might accurately reproduce the circumstances as described above.  Just as would be expected, my name (as a hyperlink) appeared on the Survey Results page, associated with both Created at and Last Modified at:

In retrospect, it strikes me as surprising that the instructions which pertain to this functionality aren't more clear in the survey creation process.  Which is to say that there is, in fact, a way to remove the user's name / hyperlink in the initial survey setup, but you wouldn't necessarily associate the step in question with that result ... because the instructions are unclear.  What I discovered through some persistent clicking around, however, is that in in an existing survey, the key to removing the user name / hyperlink is found via the Title, description and navigation hyperlink under the General Settings heading when you're editing the survey settings :

On the Survey General Settings page which results from clicking this link, the Survey Options section (pictured below) features the setting that you want to change.  Note that in the image below I'm showing the default setting (which is why you're seeing those user names / hyperlinks in the image above) of Yes, show user names in survey results.  In order to remove the user name / hyperlink, you'll want to switch this setting to No.

Note: The Survey Options pictured above are the very same options which are presented when a survey is created, so you needn't circle back to switch setting after the fact as I've done here.  I'm merely documenting my own discovery process, as well as providing the means to go back and modify these settings on an already existing survey.  Having switched the Show user names setting to No, this is what my Survey Results page looked like:

So while this solution doesn't actually remove the entire Created / Modified section from the Results page, I suspect (and hope) that it will satisfy the larger concern of having the user names not appear as hyperlinks therein. 

If the instructions had been more carefully composed in this particular case, I suspect the question wouldn't have even been necessary to ask, but it's nice to know that it turns out the ability to remove this instance of default behavior is available out of the box after all.  And if anybody's keeping score, this little messaging weakness is something that could be easily fixed in the next version of SharePoint with a simple tweak in the instructions.  Hint: Indicate where the user's name is going to appear, and mention the auto-hyperlinking of the name that comes along for the ride.


Posted Mar 13 2009, 04:15 PM by John Anderson

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About John Anderson

John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL.  New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process.  Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically).  Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.

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