Applies to: SharePoint Server 2016, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise.
A managed metadata column gives you control over the information that people can type into a column. Users choose the terms/phrases that they type in the column from a pre-established set of managed terms.
The following illustration shows how this works. The document library in the illustration has a managed metadata column called “Discover ECM”. To input values in the column, a user alters the properties for an item in the library (in this case, the item is a spreadsheet). The name of the managed metadata column, Discover ECM, is the label for a field on the properties page. To view a list of terms, users just select the tags icon.
When you create a managed metadata column, you can use an existing term set, or you can insert a term set mainly for this purpose. To learn how to add a new term set, see Set up a new term set.
Create site, list, or library managed metadata columns
Important: You must be a Site Collection Administrator to create or configure site columns. You must have the Manage Lists permission level to create columns for lists or libraries. By default, site owners have Manage Lists permission.
- You can create a column for lists and libraries, or you can create a site column. Create the column by choosing one of the following procedures:
- Create a site column for managed metadata
- a. On the Home page, pick Site Contents.
- b. On the Site Contents page, choose Settings.
- c. Under Web Designer Galleries, pick Site columns.
- d. On the Site Column page, select Create.
- e. On the New Site Column page, in the Name and Type section, enter the name of the column.
- Create list or library column for managed metadata
- a. Go to the list or library where you want to create the column.
- b. On the List or Library tab of the ribbon, press List Settings or Library Settings, as appropriate.
- c. In the Columns section, choose Create Column.
- d. On the Create Column page, in the Name and Type section, enter the name of the column.
- In The type of information in this column is section, select managed metadata.
- In the Group section, choose a group for the column or create a group for it.
- In the Additional Column Settings section, enter a description and state whether the value is required. You can also define whether you want to enforce unique values for the column.
- In the Multiple Value field section, elaborate whether you want to allow multiple values in the column.
Important: If you allow multiple values in the column, users won’t be able to sort on this column.
- In the Display format section, state whether to present only the term label, or to display the term and its full path in the term set hierarchy.
- In the Term Set Settings section, do one of the following:
- To use an existing term set, click Use a managed term set, and then search or browse for the name of the term set. After you click the term set name, you can decide whether to allow users to fill-in values, and set a default value for the column.
- To create a term set for this column, select Customise your term set, and type a description for the term set. Then, click Edit Using Term Set Manager and follow the steps in Set up a new term set.
- Click OK.
To modify or edit a managed metadata column
To manage a metadata column, follow either of the previous steps to reach your site, library, or list column Site columns page. On that page, scroll through the defined columns and choose the one you want to alter. You will then be back in the editing page where you can change or update the settings.
More benefits of managed metadata columns
Managed metadata columns provide users a list of pre-defined terms that can be integrated into their content. You can use this feature to assist people use the terms regularly across the site collection. In addition, updated terms automatically become available to users.
Managed metadata columns have multiple exceptional characteristics that help users choose and apply terms to content. For example, they support “type-ahead,” and offer disambiguation of terms, descriptions, synonyms, and multilingual values. In addition, users don’t have to remember all the terms. Instead, they can select terms from a tree that shows the term set hierarchy.
- Type-ahead – When a user starts typing a value, SharePoint displays a list of all the terms in the related term set that begin with the characters the user has typed. You can set up type-ahead to display the name of the term set and the term’s position in the hierarchy alongside to the term itself.
Users can navigate their pointer over suggested terms to see summary text to guide them with decision making. If synonyms were defined for a term, users can type those, and the correct terms are assigned automatically.
Select from the term set hierarchy – When users insert or modify information in a managed metadata column, they have numerous options. If they know the term set, they can simply enter the new value in the column. If the type-ahead feature gives the correct value, the user can just choose it.
Users can also search for the appropriate term. They can select the tags icon beside the managed metadata field, and then pick a value from a tree that displays the term set hierarchy.