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23 November 2016

SharePoint Content Type For Projects Libraries

SharePoint iconMost organizations want their data to be displayed and managed in a consistent way. Templates are a big help, and in SharePoint we also have the content types. A content type is a kind of template that defines what metadata a SharePoint item should contain. In a new demo in the kalmstrom.com Tips section, I describe how to create a SharePoint Online project content type and apply it.

Site collection with subsites
In this exercise I work with a content type on site collection level, so there is no need to include the Content Type Hub, which I have described in other Tips. The site collection has three subsites, and each of them will have its own Projects document library.

Create content type columns
I start with creating a content type, to which I add site columns for Project Manager, Start Date, End Date, Description and Status. These must be new or existing site columns. You cannot create columns in the way you do when you just want to add a column to one list or library.

The Project Manager column should be of the lookup type, so I also create a list of names that this column can fetch dropdown alternatives from.

Create Word template
Word 2016 icon When we have created a library and given it the content type, views and settings we want, we can also make sure that each Project Word document has the correct look and metadata. This is done with a Word template connected to the content type. In my template, I use Quick Parts to fetch information from the content type columns.

Create library template
I only have to create one Projects library from scratch, because this library can then be used as a template for libraries on other sites. Libraries created from the Projects Library template will have the same content type, views and Word template as the first library. I only need to repeat some settings that don't get included in the template.
Projects on SharePoint site

Show projects in homepage
Even if each department has its own Projects library, it might be useful to show all ongoing projects on the site collection homepage. I show how to do this with two web parts: Content Search and Content Query. Choose the one you prefer!

Classic experience
Currently a Word template with content type info can only be used with the desktop version of Word and with the classic experience library interface, so that is what I use in most of the demo below. I of course describe how to make a library always open in the classic interface and how to ensure that the desktop Word is used and not Word Online.

I follow the Microsoft development plans closely, so when it will be possible to use the new experience and maybe even Word Online for this kind of template, I will create a new demo and Tips article!


Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions