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Editor's note: Contributor Chris Grist is a SharePoint Architect at Beach Energy. Follow him @gristdog
If we step back to SharePoint 2007 before Bieber fever, before the first black US president, before 1D and before many hours lost to Angry Birds; we had a field in SharePoint called DocIcon and when you clicked on it, it would open the associated document.
In SharePoint 2010 the field still existed, but was not wrapped in the <a> tag it so needed to function, Microsoft’s response to beta testers was that it was by design and would not be fixed, and even though it still displayed in the view editor as Document Icon (linked to document), it of course was not linked.
In SharePoint 2010, Microsoft, released a kb on a workaround using a .xsl document dropped in the 14 hive see here, and for those a bit less technical several people packaged this up into a deployable WSP to make the process no harder than any other SharePoint change.
Unfortunately in SharePoint 2013, this seems not to work and several people are looking for an answer. It could be as simple as modifying the XSL, but I know 9/10 people do not like looking at XSL.
Therefore, I have put together the below jQuery which you can drop into your master page, to make the icons clickable. The only scenario I could not get it to work was where a view was grouped and collapsed. However, grouped and expanded did work.
You're not going to want to implement this if you have massive amounts of items shown at once, but it may help some of you until (if) Microsoft releases another workaround. Of course if this is just for one document library, you can chuck it in a content editor or html web part to apply to the single page.
var alt = $(this).attr('alt');
alt = "../" + alt;
var a = $('<a/>').attr('href', alt);