Document management with SharePoint - part 4

Written By: Knox Cameron -- 10/6/2011 -- join -- contribute -- (1384) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Configurations, Design, Document Management, Programming and Customizations, Search, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010

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Using content types

Now users can go to that document library, select the Documents tab in the ribbon, then click the drop-down next to New Document to see the custom document types available, complete with an appropriate icon to show the application.

Options list under New button in document library, showing custom content types

When a user selects one of the options, the appropriate template will be downloaded automatically to his or her machine, and opened with the appropriate application. For example, the bill of materials will open as a new spreadsheet in Excel. (Depending on your configuration, you may be prompted for credentials, you may be prompted whether you trust the site, and you may be prompted to enable editing of the file.) The user can fill in the required information, and also complete the title and author metadata.

Bill of materials template opened as new document in Excel

Once the user is ready, when he or she clicks save, Office will automatically offer to save the document back to the document library.

Excel Save As dialog showing the library

You can then create custom views using the metadata, as discussed in Document management with SharePoint - Part 2, for example:

Custom view of document library

You can create options for more views by creating more metadata columns, as discussed in that article. The only difference now is that you will assign the columns as site columns to content types instead of just creating them in the library itself. By doing this, the columns will automatically be added to all document libraries where the content types are used.

You can assign one or more of the existing site columns, or you can create new site columns. Assign site columns to particular child content types as appropriate, or if you want to use the column across all the content types, assign it to the parent content type and use the option to apply the change to all inheriting content types.

  • Unfortunately, although you can show content type as a column in a view, you can't group by it, or filter by it using contains or begins with, or refer to it in a calculated column.
  • Although assigning site columns to content types automatically adds the columns to all libraries, you will still need to edit the views in individual libraries to show the columns.

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