SP2013 – Changing the default group template in Search Results WP (GroupTemplateId)

Hi Search Enthusiasts
I came across the need to change the default group template, for a specific Search Result Web Part.
I have configured my search center with the default layout -all in one column-. Upon certain Query rules, I may encounter results including Best Bets, Result Blocks and Core Results. All those are considered groups in the rendering of the Search Result Web Part although I wanted to have more controls about their rendering (upon certain criteria, I would like to display or not Result Blocks and Core Results for instance).
Overall how the Search Results WP is rendered ?
The Search Result Web Part Display Templates -Control_SearchResults.html- shows the groups rendering invocation.
                 <div id="Groups" class="ms-srch-result-groups">
                    ctx.ListDataJSONGroupsKey = "ResultTables";
                    _#= ctx.RenderGroups(ctx) =#_
Each group is rendered with the same default template called Group_Default.html. Within each group, each Result Item is rendered based on its type (see Search Display Templates Item_*).
The WP Properties UI only allow you to change the Control Display (WP-level) and Result Item template (Result-Item Level). The Group Template is not configurable through the UI.
The Group template shows the call to render the result items within a group.
            <div id="_#= $htmlEncode(id + Srch.U.Ids.groupContent) =#_" class="ms-srch-group-content">_#= ctx.RenderItems(ctx) =#_<div class="ms-srch-group-clear"></div></div>
To change that Group template the solution is to export the Search Result WP, change the attribute GroupTemplateId (blank by default) to point to your new Group template.
        <property name="GroupTemplateId" type="string">~sitecollection/_catalogs/masterpage/Display Templates/Search/Group_Default_RightWP.js</property>
Once changed, import your new Search Result WP.
You can now use a different look and feel or other customization you may require. 
Stay Tuned.
Comments (4)

  1. Carl says:

    Will Microsoft be posting complete reference documentation on the display template api? I mean, you are using the ctx and Srch objects, but I can't find any reference documentation on it. E.g. why one needs to set the ListDataJSONGroupsKey property to the value "ResultTables".

  2. Hi Carl

    As far as I know, there is no plan to publish such documentation. The code snippet I referenced (i.e. "ListDataJSONGroupsKey") is originated from the default Control_SearchResults.html. It was meant to highlight how the groups are rendered within the SRWP.

    Existing resources around Search Display Templates :




  3. Louie says:

    If you created a Query rule, you could add a result block, expand Settings and you can specify the group display template url as well as the item display template url; These url's are pointers to js files generated from your custom display template files in html form.

  4. @Louie : correct. At the result block level, you can control group and item templates.

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