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  • james whittington 9 posts 101 karma points
    Sep 20, 2021 @ 22:47
    james whittington

    Adding block list settings to blocks that are already in use

    I am trying to figure out the correct way to accomplish this, I would like to add some settings to a block list item that is already in use, when i add the block list like

    var settings = Model.Settings as RichTextBlockSettings;

    it works great for new blocks, but previously created content crashes with a null reference exception - I assume the setting node the content is saved with doesn't exists, since it wasn't present when the content was saved.

    Going though and re-saving each content item would fix this, but is sometimes not feasible.

    I have tried a few different ways, including casting and Umbraco 9's .SafeCast<Type>() extension method, neither of these work.

    The only way I could get to reliably work is this:

    var longForm = false;
    if(Model.Settings is RichTextBlockSettings settings){
        longForm = settings.Longform;


    RichTextBlockSettings settings = null;
    if(Model.Settings is RichTextBlockSettings rteSettings){
        settings = rteSettings;

    I don't really like this pattern as it means I need to null check every use of setting in my view.

    Am I missing something here, or is this just something that doesn't work well. I am thinking for large sites a simple work around would be to always add a setting element to the block when it is created, and then use compositions to attach any further settings as and when required.

  • Manish Manandhar 3 posts 72 karma points
    Oct 26, 2021 @ 06:04
    Manish Manandhar

    Did you find any solution for this? I am having the same issue. The previously generated settings always return null whereas the new ones created work perfectly.

  • james whittington 9 posts 101 karma points
    Oct 27, 2021 @ 01:21
    james whittington

    I didn't find a way, but was tinkering around and on the latest umbraco 9 patch it seems to work slightly better (or maybe I didn't test this before?)

    It still requires me to null check every instance of a setting node (which is disappointing) but seems to work reliably enough. It lets you use the settings if they are set, or a custom fallback if the block list item was saved before settings were added.

    var settings = Model.Settings as RichTextBlockSettings;
    <p>@(settings?.ContentType.Alias.ToString() ?? "settings was null")</p>
    <p>@(settings?.Longform ?? false)</p>

    Hope this helps a little, if anyone else wants to pitch in with a better method, or how they are currently managing updating existing content by adding settings elements it would be great to learn how others are approaching this!

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