7 more things to know about the SharePoint News digest

This is an update on my earlier post “10 things to know about the SP News digest” as we have learned many new things about this functionality in the mean time.
I expect that many senders of News digests will also be News publishers and sometimes even Site Owners, so you may also want to read my recent post “10 more things to know about creating SharePoint News” .

1. You must have Contributor or Edit access in a site to be able to create and send a newsletter

A News digest is a page in your Pages Library, and you need permissions to create a page, add an image to the Assets Library etc.

If you are a reader in a site, you will not see the “Create a News digest” option. I wrote about this in “SharePoint Holmes and the Lost Link“.

Screenshot of SharePoint News where person has read access only - they will see the "See all" link on the homepage but when they click it they will not get an option to create a News Digest.
This person only has Read permissions and can therefore not create a News digest.

2. Do not panic when you do not see the “See All” button

There may be a glitch with the web part settings, such as described in my post “SharePoint Holmes and the Disappearing Digest Link

  • The Site owner has used the Hub layout for News (I could not reproduce this anymore, so this may have been a bug that has been fixed)
  • The Site Owner has deselected “Show title and commands” in the web part
Screenshot of News web part where the "Show title and commands" button is turned OFF.
If “Show title and commands” are OFF, you will not see the “See All” link, regardless of the number of posts.
Screenshot of SharePoint News with the "Show title and commands" button OFF, this means you will not see the "See all" link to create a News Digest.
No “See all” after publishing a News web part with the “Show title and commands” OFF.

And then there is the “number of posts” issue. This is the explanation from Microsoft: If you don’t see the See all link, it could be that you don’t have enough news posts published for the option to be available. See all shows only when the number of news posts you have published is greater than the number of posts set to show in the Number of news posts to show option of the News web part. For example, if you have only 2 news posts published, and you set the option to display 4, you won’t have a See all link in the news section.

3. Make it a habit to use the Description field for a good summary of the post

Your audience will appreciate a Newsletter that provides them with useful info and does not waste their time. A good summary in the Description can help, as this will help them determine if title and summary are sufficient information, or if they want to read the full post. The Description from the News page will also be displayed in the Digest.
If you do not publish News posts yourself, you may want to teach your publishers about the use of the Description field.

In the example below, item 1 has a short summary that tells you exactly what Project Peony is about, item 2 blabs on about the project itself and tells you nothing about the purpose.

Screenshot of two identical SharePoint News posts, one with a good summary in the Description that tells you immediately about the post, one with the default description which is not as informative.
Item 1 has an optimized Description, with a nice summary, while Item 2 has the default first lines of the body text.

Read more about the Description field in my post: “7 things to know about the Description field in SharePoint pages and news“.

4. You can send one Digest from various news sites

Suppose you normally publish in and send a Digest from the Intranet site. Now you want to send one Digest from your Intranet News posts, with one or more items from one or more different sites. This can be done by adding a link to news that lives in another site, or even on the internet, or by including all News from one or more other sites permanently.

You have three options, see the screenshots below. You can find more elaborate info in my post “Combining SharePoint News from different sites“.

  • Add a News Link (to one News post from another location) is best for a one-off News post
  • Use News posts from one or more other sites if you want to permanently include News from one or more other sites in your News
  • Use News posts from all sites in the Hub if your site is a Hub site
Screenshot of SharePoint News with the place where you can find the "Add News Link" option.
For a one-time addition of a post from another location, you can use the Add News link option.
Screenshot of SharePoint News web part settings where News from two additional sites has been added to the News from this site.
If you want to show all News from one or more sites, you can add more sources permanently.
Screenshot of SharePoint News web part, where the site is a Hub site so you can select to show News from all sites in the Hub.
If the site is a Hub Site, you can show News from all sites in the Hub

Please remember that links in the Digest will go to the original posts when clicked from the site or the Digest. Make sure that everyone has access to all sites featuring in the Digest!

5. There ARE options to format the Digest email! 

Microsoft is still in the “promise” phase for any formatting options, but Veronique Palmer has found a way to format it from the Outlook Desktop app – now that is neat! I tried it with Outlook-on-the-web and you can do a few things there as well!

In short, you can reformat while you forward the digest. This is a good way to change the colour scheme and perhaps add different logo’s (I could not make that work but that may be just me or a limitation of Outlook-on-the-web)

So, this is the Digest email that I receive in Outlook on-the-web.

Screenshot of the original News digest email
The original Digest email, it is a bit boring and has a lot of Microsoft branding

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When I forward it (and perhaps change the sender from myself to an organizational mailbox such as “Communications” to make it more formal) I can edit the header. In this case I removed the Microsoft and SharePoint logo’s, edited the text and added a background colour.

Screenshot of formatted SharePoint News digest email, without the logo's and Microsoft references, with a different header colour and some edited texts.
I can do some formatting, even in Outlook for the web!

This is the reformatted email after sending:

Screenshot of reformatted news digest email. It looks a bit more colourful than the original.
The reformatted email. It looks a bit less bland!

6. The Digest will always be sent from your personal email address

SharePoint is personal, and any Digest will be sent from your email address. (Unless your Communications Department has a separate Microsoft365 license, but I think that is not good practice).
If you want to send a Digest on behalf of the Communications Department for instance, please first send the Digest to the Communications Department mailbox. From there, you can forward it to the intended audience.
This procedure will allow you to:

  • Shorten the title.
    By default the Digest title will be “[Creator] shared [Digest Title] with you”. By forwarding you can shorten that to just the Digest title.
  • Add the audience to the BCC field.
    This will keep the damage of any “Reply All” actions limited. There is no option to send as CC or BCC from SharePoint.
  • Format the email, see item 5!
  • Treat all emails from the Communications Department consistently (e.g. filing, archiving, etc.)
Screenshot from the Digest creating process. There is only a "To" field in the Digest, no CC or BCC.
There is only a TO field in the Digest, and it will always be sent from the person who creates the Digest.

But make sure to remove any earlier sending info!

Screenshot of News digest email when it is received and being forwarded. At this stage you should edit the title to make it more compact, and remove the sending info from SharePoint to the first mailbox.
When forwarding, please edit the title (1) and remove the sending into from the mail (2).

7. Be aware that not everyone may receive your News digest

That may be because of a problem with your email server, it may end up in Junk Mail, it may be an accident and some readers may have intentionally blocked you because they do not want to receive “more organizational stuff to read”.
I have listed a number of possible reasons and troubleshooting in this post: “Why does my SharePoint News digest not reach my colleagues?

If you are starting with a regular newsletter, I would suggest you inform your audience about the reason and value, and show them how to check their Junk Mail or Archive. It can also be helpful to run a survey now and then, so you can finetune your Digest.

Are you finding this blog helpful? SharePoint week.

What have I missed?

So, have you found any other “things to know” about the SharePoint News Digest? Please let me know!

The 7 from the image is sourced from https://www.freepnglogos.com/images/number-7-36599.html

About the Author

I am an experienced intranet and digitalworkplace adoption manager, having worked for about 20 years in intranet/SharePoint/Microsoft365 roles in multinational companies. After that, I worked some years for a Dutch mental health care organization. Additionally, I have been a freelancer for Digital Workplace Group as social media coordinator.

Reference

Van Aken, E., 2023, 7 more things you know about the SharePoint News digest, Mydigtialworkplace.worpress.com, Available at: https://mydigitalworkplace.wordpress.com/2023/02/05/7-more-things-to-know-about-the-sharepoint-news-digest/ [Accessed on 4 May 2025]

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