Missing “Apps you can add” with custom master page in SharePoint 2013

Randy Drisgill posted this little gem awhile back for SharePoint 2013, “Design Manager Bug – SharePoint 2013 RTM“, which includes info about a bug that he discovered when using a Design Manager created master page. The “Apps you can add” portion of the addanapp.aspx screen can come up missing.  The screen just ends after the Noteworthy section.  I have also discovered that this isn’t limited to just master pages generated by Design Manager, it can happen with any custom master page that you created manually or imported, etc.

To fix this issue you need to make sure that two of SharePoint’s ContentPlaceHolders are present AND do not have visible=”false” set as a property:

<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea" runat="server"/>
<asp:ContentPlaceHolder id="PlaceHolderLeftNavBar" runat="server" />

This can get a little sticky if you weren’t planning on using these ContentPlaceHolders and the content that shows up within them.  PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea is easier to manage and you can hide any contents within using CSS – it just depends on what you need for your design.

PlaceHolderLeftNavBar on the other hand is a tougher situation.  If you are using the left nav a.k.a. Quick Launch a.k.a. Current Navigation then you will be fine.  If you are not planning on using this menu system, you may have to get a little crafty with your design.  There are unfortunately several settings/administration screens that utilize the Quick Launch for additional options.

One solution is to leave the ContentPlaceHolders in place but add the following CSS to hide their contents:

/* Hide components not needed for the page */
div[id*="PlaceHolderLeftNavBar"],  /* Quick Launch menu */
.ms-core-listMenu-verticalBox,  /* Site Contents link */
#DeltaPlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea  /* Page title in title area */ {
	display: none;