Create custom action in SharePoint 2013 programmatically

In this article, we will learn How to Create Custom Action in SharePoint 2013 programmatically using Visual Studio.

A custom action in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2016

In SharePoint 2013/ 2016, I need to add a new Tab to the Display Form Ribbon for only one list in my SharePoint site as shown below:

custom action in SharePoint 2013

How to Create custom action in SharePoint 2013 programmatically using Visual Studio?

  • Open Visual Studio > Create a new empty SharePoint solution .
Create Empty SharePoint Solution using Visual Studio
  • Select Deploy as a farm solution .
Deploy SharePoint solution as farm solution
  • Right Click on Project Name. > select Add.
Add item to sharepoint solution in Visual studio
  • Add New Item.
Add new item in Visual studio
  • Add Module item.
Create Module in sharepoint solution using visual studio
  • Delete Sample.txt file.
Delete Sample.txt file
  • Remove the current code at  Element.xml.
Module structure in visual studio

Element.xml structure for Custom Action

  • Paste the following code at Element.xml.
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
 <Elements xmlns="">
  Title="Custom Tab"
  Description="Custom Tab !!!"
  Size="OneLargeTwoMedium" />
  <Groups Id="Ribbon.CustomTab.Groups">
  Description="Custom Group!"
  Title="Custom Group"
  <Controls Id="Ribbon.CustomTab.CustomGroup.Controls">
  <CommandUIDefinition Location="Ribbon.Templates._children">
  <GroupTemplate Id="Ribbon.Templates.CustomTemplate">
  <Section Alignment="Top" Type="OneRow">
  <ControlRef DisplayMode="Large" TemplateAlias="cust1" />
  CommandAction="javascript:alert('Hello, world!');" />

Changes for Custom Action Element.xml file

In the above code, you should change the below elements based on your current entries

If you need to apply the custom action for all custom lists in Display Form ,so you just need to set the registration ID and type as shown below

RegistrationId Custom Action list

How to Create custom action in SharePoint 2013 for a specific list?

In my case, I only need to create a custom action for only one list in to be shown in the Display Form, so I would use the below entry

  • Location = “CommandUI.Ribbon.DisplayForm
  • RegistrationId = “Content Type ID
  • RegistrationType  = “ContentType

Create a site content type

To create a custom action for a specific list, I should first create a site content type for this list by doing the following:

  • Go to List Settings. (Make sure that the content types has been allowed).
    • Advanced Settings > Allow management of content types.
allow management of content types
  • Go to Site Settings > Web Designer Galleries > Site Content Type.
Web Designer Galleries - Site Content Types
  • Click Create.
Create Site content types 1
  • Set the name of the content type and set the other entries as the following:
New Site Content Type
  • Go to List settings > below content types > click on Add from existing site content types
Add from existing site content types
  • Add the content type that you created
Add Content Type
  • Set it as default by clicking on Change new button order and default content type.
Create Site Content Types
  • Check it and uncheck the default item content type > and select its order to 1.
Change Content Type order
  • It’s should look like
Content types list

Adjust custom action for Content Type

  • Now you should get Content Type ID by following the mentioned steps at Getting Content Type ID of SharePoint List.
  • The final settings for location and registration id and registration type should look like the following
Custom Action list for a Content Type
  • Deploy the solution > go to your list > add new Item > display it > it should look like the following :
Custom Action Tab at display form
custom action in SharePoint 2013


In conclusion, we have learned how to Create custom action in SharePoint 2013 programmatically using visual studio for a specific list.

Applies To
  • SharePoint 2016.
  • SharePoint 2013.

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