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Create a column in a SharePoint list or library

Applies to: SharePoint Online, SharePoint Server 2019, SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013, SharePoint Server 2010.

SharePoint columns facilitate you grouping, categorising, and tracking information, in a list or library. Columns types comprise a single line of text, a drop-down list of options, a number that is calculated from other columns, and a column that allows you to select a person’s name.

Add a column to a SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server 2019 list or library

Most types of columns can be added without leaving your list or library.

  1. Explore the list or library you seek to create a column in.
  1. Click + Add column or + to the right of the last column name at the top of the list or library.

Note: Does your SharePoint screen look different than the examples here? Your administrator could have classic experience set on the list or document library, or you’re using an earlier version of SharePoint Server. If so, click the tab for the SharePoint Server 2016 version above. See Which version of SharePoint am I using?

  1. In the dropdown menu, pick your preferred column type.
  1. In the Create a column panel, enter a title/column heading into the Name field.
The create a column panel
  1. Type any other necessary information. The amount of fields will differ based on the column type you selected. The above example is for a number field.
  1. Click Save.

Add more types of columns in SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server 2019

  1. Locate the list or library where you want to create a column.
  1. In the All items or All documents view of the list or library you want to create a column, choose Add column at the end of the heading row, and then press More ….
  1. In the Name and Type section, input your preferred column’s name in the Column name box.
Creat column dialog
  1. Under The type of information in this column is, choose the kind of information that you want to display in the column. For more on column types, see Site column types and options.
  1. In the Additional Column Settings section, enter a description in the Description box to enlighten people the column’s purpose and what data it should include. This description is optional.

Depending on the column type that you chose, further options may emerge in the Additional Column Settings section. Pick the extra settings that you want. For more on column settings, see Site column types and options.

  1. You can create validation to assure the column entry corresponds with the expected value(s). Pick Column Validation to widen the section, and enter the desired Formula to use to validate the data. Add a User message that outlines what valid data should appear to guide users with typing valid data. For information on validation and formula syntax see Examples of common formulas in SharePoint Lists.

The Column Validation section is selectively available for some types of columns.

  1. Select OK to save.

Create a site column in SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server 2019

  1. On the home page, pick Settings, select Site Settings. If Site settings isn’t visible, press Site information and then choose View all site settings. Some pages might prompt you to pick Site contents, and then Site settings.
  1. On the Site Settings page, under Web Designer Galleries, click Site columns.
Site column option on site settings page
  1. On the Site Columns page, press Create.
The create button in the site columns page
  1. In the Name and Type section, enter the name that you want in the Column name box.
  1. Choose your ideal information category to store in the column.

For more on column types, see Site column types and options.

  1. In the Group section, pick the existing group for storing the new site column or produce a new group to store the column.

The list of Existing groups can differ with versions of SharePoint, and what groups have been added.

  1. In the Additional Column Settings section, specify your preferred advanced column settings. The options available in this section change depending on the column type you confirm in the Name and Type section.

For more on column settings, see Site column types and options.

  1. Press OK.

Add an existing site column to a SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server 2019 list or library

  1. Locate the list/library you want to create a column in. If your named list/library is hidden on a page, pick Settings > Site Contents, and then choose the name of your list or library.
  1. Pick Settings > List settings or Library settings.
Settings menu with Library Settings selected
  1. On the Settings page, scroll down to the Columns section, and then choose Add from existing site columns.
Closeup of Add existing column link in Settings page
  1. On the Add Columns from Site Columns page, in the Select Columns section, select the set of site columns to pick from in the Select site columns from drop-down list.
Add existing column page with 3 selected
  1. When you choose a column group from the list, the available site columns display in the Available site columns list.

Note: The Available site column list automatically displays to All Groups, but you can narrow the number of fields by selecting groups that may include what you’re seeking. For example, Core Document Columns or Custom Columns.

  1. Choose your ideal site columns and press Add. The columns appear in the Columns to add list box. To insert the column to the standard view, which people on your site instantly see when they first open a list/library, ensure Add to default view is picked. Some lists like he Tasks list also have the option Add to all content types, which is chosen automatically. If you want to assign the column to all content types, ensure Add to all content types stays chosen.

Depending on the type list or library, there can be additional settings in the Options section. Pick your ideal additional options.

  1. Select OK to save.

Create a column in a SharePoint Server 2016, or SharePoint Server 2013 list or library

  1. If the list or library is still closed, select its name on the page or in the Quick Launch. If your specific list/ library is absent from a page, click Settings, click Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.
  1. In the ribbon, select the List or Library tab.
The library and browse tab on the ribbon
  1. In the Manage Views group, click Create Column.
SharePoint Online Library create column link
  1. In the Name and Type section, input the ideal name for the column in the Column name box.
Creat column dialog
  1. Under The type of information in this column is, pick the kind of information that you want to show in the column. For more on column types, see Site column types and options.
  1. In the Additional Column Settings section, type a description in the Description box to help people understand the purpose of the column and what data it should contain. This description is optional. Depending on the type of column that you selected, more options may appear in the Additional Column Settings section. Select the additional settings that you want. For more on column settings, see Site column types and options.
Creat column dialog
  1. You can apply validation to guarantee the column entry matches the applicable data. Select Column Validation to expand the section, and enter the specific Formula to validate the data. Add a User message that elaborates what qualifies as valid data to assist users in typing valid data. For information on validation and formula syntax, see Examples of common formulas in SharePoint Lists.
Column validation dialog with fields filled in with sample data

The Column Validation section is not available for all types of columns.

  1. Click OK to save.

Create a site column in SharePoint Server 2016, or SharePoint Server 2013

  1. On the portal site home page, click Settings, and then click Site Settings.
Site column option on site settings page
  1. On the Site Settings page, under Web Designer Galleries, click Site columns.
The create button in the site columns page
  1. On the Site Columns page, click Create.
  1. In the Name and Type section, type the name that you want in the Column name box.
  1. Select the type of information you want to store in the column. For more on column types, see Site column types and options.
  1. In the Group section, select the existing group in which to store the new site column or create a new group to store the column.The list of Existing groups can vary with version of SharePoint, and what groups have been added.
  1. In the Additional Column Settings section, select the additional column settings you want. The options available in this section differ depending on the type of column that you select in the Name and Type section.For more on column settings, see Site column types and options.
  1. Click OK.

Add an existing site column to a SharePoint Server 2016, or SharePoint Server 2013 list or library

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the page or in the Quick Launch. If the name of your list or library does not appear on a page, click Settings, click Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.
Site contents page with list selected
  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.
List tab selected on ribbon
  1. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.
SharePoint Library Settings buttons on Ribbon
  1. On the Settings page, scroll down to the Columns section, and then click Add from existing site columns.
Closeup of Add existing column link in Settings page
  1. On the Add Columns from Site Columns page, in the Select Columns section, select the group of site columns to choose from in the Select site columns from drop-down list.
Add existing column page with 3 selected

Note: The Available site column list defaults to All Groups, but you can narrow the number of fields by choosing groups that may contain what you’re looking for. For example Core Document Columns or Custom Columns.When you select a column group from the list, the available site columns appear in the Available site columns list.

Add Columns from Site Columns
  1. Pick your preferred site columns to insert and click Add. The columns appear in the Columns to add list box. To create the column to the default view, which people on your site instantly see when they first open a list or library, check Add to default view is chosen. Some lists such as the Tasks list also have the option Add to all content types, which is clicked automatically. If you want to insert the column to all content types, ensure Add to all content types stays picked. Depending on the type list or library, there may be further settings in the Options section. Select the additional options that you want.

  1. Click OK to save.
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