04 August 2015

8 Ways To Add Content To SharePoint Document Libraries

SharePoint iconSharePoint libraries are in my opinion the best option for storing files that should be shared. In a few articles in our new SharePoint Online from Scratch series, we describe different ways to add files to a SharePoint Online document library. The Tips series is about Office 365 SharePoint Online, but all the methods can be used on SharePoint on-premises also.

When you use SharePoint document libraries for file sharing you have several benefits:
  • SharePoint libraries give a good overview over attachments.
  • Use the powerful SharePoint Search to find information.
  • SharePoint Versioning feature lets you see earlier
    versions of each item. SharePoint Alert button
  • You can let SharePoint notify you when documents have
    been changed.
  • You can create different views in the SharePoint library.
SharePoint Document Library views

Create in SharePoint
Templates Manager iconThe best way of adding content to a SharePoint document library is actually to create the file directly in SharePoint. The Solution Templates Manager makes it easy to distribute Office templates to the whole SharePoint farm.

Upload file SharePoint Upload File button
Single files can be uploaded to SharePoint via the 'Upload' button in the document library.

Drag and drop files
One or several files can be dragged and dropped from your PC to the document library. To put the windows side by side, use the Windows button + the right/left key. You can only use this method for 100 files at a time.

Import files from Windows Explorer
SharePoint Open with Explorer buttonYou can open the SharePoint site in Windows Explorer and import files to the library. The  'Upload' button dialog also has an option to upload files using Windows Explorer. In both cases adding the SharePoint library to Quick Access/Favorites makes it easy to drag and drop files, but you may of course also copy and paste them.

'Save As' to SharePoint
If you add the SharePoint library to Quick Access/Favorites you get another possibility to add content to SharePoint: you can save any open file into the library by using the Windows option 'Save As'. With this option you don't have to open the SharePoint library to add content to it.

Drag or copy to network drive
If you map the SharePoint library as a network drive you can not only Save As but also drop or paste all kinds of documents into the library without opening SharePoint.
Map network drive button

Import files and folders with SharePoint Designer
SharePoint Designer Icon buttonWhen you use SharePoint Designer 2010 or 2013 to add content to SharePoint libraries, you can import not only files but also whole folders with all their subfolders and files. Open the site in SharePoint Designer and use the 'Import File' button or simply drag and drop the files to the library.

Normally you should not have folders in SharePoint but instead make use of metadata as much as possible, but use the SharePoint Designer method if you have a lot to upload, as there is no limit to the number of files.

Upload files by e-mail
Sharing documents via SharePoint is safer than sending them as e-mail attachments, and when you use SharePoint you avoid that mailboxes are filled up with attached files. You also get all the other SharePoint benefits mentioned above.

Still people have a tendency to send e-mail attachments instead of using SharePoint, because sending an e-mail attachment it is quicker than opening SharePoint and upload a file.

SP Arttach logoTo solve this problem has developed SP Attach, a solution which uploads files to SharePoint libraries directly from Outlook. A link to the uploaded file will be added in the e-mail.

SP Attach changes the default behavior of the Outlook 'Attach File' command, so that the attachment will not be added to the e-mail but published to a SharePoint document library. Regular e-mail attachments can still be sent to people who do not have access to the SharePoint site.

The SharePoint Online from Scratch series will continue with a few demos on how to import Excel tables to SharePoint, and I will show how to make the data sync so that you can make the changes in either Excel or SharePoint and have both updated.

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions

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