columns

Setting Default Column Values

This solution will discuss how default column values to make it easier to enter metadata. By setting these default column values on a folder-level, it means any document added to that folder will get the same value in the column as the folder. We’ll walk you through how this works, first by setting up a library with some folders, then adding a column that will hold the desired information, and finally configuring the default column value settings on individual folders.

Task 1: Set Up the Library App

This task will lay the groundwork for default column value settings. We need to set up a library and create a couple of folders in the library.

1.    In a web browser, navigate to the SharePoint site where you want to create the library. The site’s home page will open.

2.    In the Suite bar, in the upper-right hand corner of the page, click the gear icon. The actions menu will open.

3.    Click Add an app. The Your Apps page will open.

Figure 1: The Your Apps Page

4.    Click on the Document Library tile. This is normally found under Noteworthy, but you can search for it as well. Click the “Find an app” search box, type library, then press Enter. Matching results for “library” will appear. You can then click Document Library. The Adding Document Library dialog box will appear.

5.    In the Name field, type a name for the library app. For this example and for the rest of the document, we’ll use the name Sales.

Figure 2: The Adding Document Library Dialog Box with the Sales Name

6.    Click Create. The Sales library will be created, and you’ll be taken to the Site Contents page.

7.    In the site contents listing, click Sales. The Sales library’s default view will open.

Figure 3: The Sales Library’s Default View

8.    In the command bar, click New. The New menu will appear.

Figure 4: The Expanded New Menu

9.    Click Folder. The Folder dialog box will appear.

10.    Type a name for your new folder. For this example and for the rest of the document, we’ll use Company A.

Figure 5: The Folder Dialog Box with the Company A Name

11.    Click Create. The Company A folder will be added to the Sales library.

12.    Repeat steps 8-11 to create another folder. For this example, we’ll use the name Company B. The Company B folder will be added to the Sales library.

Help Your SharePoint User

Figure 6: The Company A and Company B Folders in the Sales Library

Task 2: Associate Site Columns to the Sales Library

Now that the library is set up, we need to create a column that will hold our metadata. For this example, we’ll use a custom site column we’ve already created. For more guidance on creating site columns, please see the SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users task, “Create a Site Column.”

1.    On the Sales library’s default view, in the Suite bar, click the gear icon to open the actions menu.

2.    Click Library settings. The Sales library’s settings page will open.

Figure 7: The Sales Library’s Settings Page

3.    Towards the bottom of the page in the Columns section, under the list of columns, click Add from existing site columns. The Add Columns from Site Columns page will open.

Figure 8: The Add Columns from Site Columns Page

4.    In the Select Columns section, under Select Site columns from, select the site column group that your site column is categorized as. For this example, we’ll select the Secret SharePoint site column group.

Figure 9: The Site Columns in the Secret SharePoint Group

5.    Under Available site columns, select a site column to add to the library. For this example, we’ll select Company Name. Then click Add. The site column will be added to the Columns to add box.

Figure 10: Company Name Selected as a Column to Add

6.    At the bottom of the page, click OK. The site column will be added to the Sales library, and you’ll be returned to the library’s settings page. In the Columns section, the Company Name site column will be listed along with the library’s default site columns.

Figure 11: The Company Name Site Column in the Columns Section

Task 3: Set Default Column Values

Now that we have the column and the folders set up in the library, we can set the default values for the column.

1.    On the Sales library’s settings page, under General Settings, click Column default value settings. The Change Default Column Values page will appear.

Figure 12: The Change Default Columns Values Page

2.    On the left side of the page is the menu Location to configure. Under Sales, the folders Company A and Company B are listed. Click the Company A folder. The page will refresh, and the breadcrumb bar will show Company A.

Figure 13: Company A Selected to Configure Default Column Value Settings

3.    Under Column (click to edit default value), click Company Name. The Edit Default Value dialog box will appear.

Figure 14: The Edit Default Value Dialog Box

4.    In the Default Value section, click the radio button for Use this default value.

5.    Under Default value, type the desired default value for this column. For this example, we’ll type Company A.

Figure 15: The Default Value Set to Company A

6.    Click OK. The Edit Default Value dialog box will close, and the page will refresh. Now, whenever a document is added to the Company A folder, the Company Name column will automatically get the value Company A.

Figure 16: Company A’s Company Name Set to Default Value “Company A”

7.    Repeat steps 2-6 for Company B. On step 5, type Company B. When you’re finished, whenever a document is added to the Company B folder, the Company Name column will automatically get the value Company B.

Figure 17: Company B’s Company Name Set to Default Value “Company B”

8.    In the breadcrumb bar, click Settings. You’ll be returned to the Sales library’s settings page.

9.    In the breadcrumb bar, click Sales. You’ll be returned to the Sales library’s default view.

Task 4: Add Documents the Sales Library

Now that we’ve added the default values to the column for the Company A and Company B folders, we’ll add a couple of documents to the folders. We won’t worry about the document names for this example, but you can direct users to follow these steps when adding documents to the library.

1.    On the Sales library’s default view, click Company A. The contents of the Company A folder will appear.

Figure 18: The Company A Folder

2.    In the command bar, click New. The New menu will appear.

3.    Click Word document. Depending on your library’s settings, Microsoft Word will launch, and a blank document will appear. Your settings may also cause Word Online to launch.

4.    Since we’re just showing how metadata is populated, we don’t need to change anything about the document. Return to the Company A folder. If Microsoft Word launched, close the document. If Word Online launched, in the Suite bar, click Company A. You’ll be returned to the Company A folder.

5.    The new document will be visible in the item listing of the Company A folder. In the Company Name column, the value will be automatically populated with Company A.

Figure 19: The New Document with Company Name Populated with “Company A”

6.    Return to the root folder by clicking Sales in the breadcrumb bar. The Sales library’s default view will appear.

7.    On the Sales library’s default view, click Company B. The contents of the Company B folder will appear.

8.    Repeat steps 2-4 to create another document in the Company B folder. When you return to the Company B folder, the new document will appear in the item listing, and Company B will be automatically populated in the Company Name column.

Figure 22: The New Document with Company Name Populated with “Company B”