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Content Type

Try to read Content-Type as “Type of Content” and you will understand what it is. You need a mechanism in the content management system where you can group together similar types of data and perform some action on those data, reuse them. Content-Type exactly provides you the same facility.

What is a SharePoint content type?

  • Definition: Content Type is a set of columns, settings, workflow, behavior that can be grouped together and reused in SharePoint list or Document Library.

What are the usage and benefits of content types?

  • Content types allow us to group together columns so, like a template, we can reuse those columns.
  • Content types are stored in the SharePoint Site and then those content types are available on that site and all its subsites.
  • Use workflows with the content type. You can define the workflow once in the content type and then re-use that content type in different lists/libraries.
  • User Document template with Content Type. You can assign a document template to Content type so whenever that content type is used, that pre-defined document template can be used.

Content Type Usage example

  • Let’s say we have 1 Document Library and we want to collect invoice data, which will have 10 columns in it. Easy right? Just create 10 columns and add them to the library. That’s it. Job Done!
  • BUT what if I want to add either (1) Invoice data or (2) Customer data or (3) Product Details in the same library? How is that even possible with only one list and a few columns in it?
  • It is easily possible with CONTENT TYPES.
  • As shown in the picture, you can add multiple content types into a single document library and at the time of adding information, whatever template you select, the information will be saved against that content type (Category).
  • Content  Type  Usage  example
  • This is how you can select one of the content types at the time of adding the row item in your list/library. Only the selected content type columns will be saved in the row item.
  • Select content type in doc lib

How to Create SharePoint Content Type?

  • Open your SharePoint site and Go to Site Settings.
  • Click on Site content types under Web Designer Galleries
  • site content type navigation
  • Click on
  • Fill in the details as shown in the below screenshot.
    1. Name and Description: Enter the name and the description of the content type.
    2. Parent Content Type: We need to select at least one parent content type. The new content type will inherit the columns from the selected parent content type.
    3. Group: Select the group of the new content type. You can also create a new group here.
    4. new content type

Create Content Type columns

  • Go to Site Settings >> Site content types
  • Click on the newly created content type.
  • There are two options to add the column.
    1. Add from existing site columns – Add already created columns from Site columns
    2. Add from new site column – Create new column. This column will be added directly here.
    3. add column in content type
  • You can add all your required columns here.
  • You Site content type is now ready.

Add a content type to List / Library

  • Go to your library where you want to add a newly created content type.
  • Click on Library Settings.
  • Click on Advanced Settings
  • doc lib adv setting navigation
  • Allow management of content types: Tick Yes for the very first option and click on Ok. If we don’t enable this, the list or library will not allow us to add content type and we can only work with columns in the list.
  • allow content type
  • Scroll down on the library settings page. Click on the option Add from existing site content types.
  • add existing content type
  • Select Content type Group and the Content type and Click on Add. You can add multiple content types here.
  • add content type box
  • Your content type is added.
  • If you want to change the order of the content type or want to choose the default content type then click on Change new button order and default content type.
  • change content type order
  • The content type on the first position will be the default content type.
  • Default content type means when you click on the New button without selecting a content type then by default this content type form will open.

Advantage of the SharePoint Content Types

  • You can use this content type anywhere else in the entire Site Collection.
  • If you want to make any change, add any extra column in the existing content type then you can change at the Site level where you have created the content type and the changes will be published wherever you are consuming it.
  • Once you add a content type in a list or library, that content type becomes a local copy of that list or library. Then if you want to delete a few columns for some of the lists, you can do it. It won’t delete the columns from the Main Content type.

Disadvantage of the SharePoint Content types

  • Let’s say you have started consuming content types at several lists/libraries on your site. Now if you want to delete one of the content types, already in use, then you must delete it from everywhere you have consumed it and that’s a big headache always.
  • If you are a beginner, it is a bit difficult sometimes to understand the concept of Content Type. So chances are there while working on the application it may not be properly implemented if not understood correctly.

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