Configuring Column Default Data in SharePoint 2013

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Configuring Column Default Data in SharePoint 2013

Like This Blog 10Spike Xavier
Added by October 23, 2013

One of the many out-of-the-box features that come with Document Library Apps in SharePoint 2013 is something called Column Default Value Settings. In this post, I will go through the entire process of moving a series of GDP reports kept over a 3 year period from a File Share in to a Document Library App in Share Point 2013.

In the next post, we’ll see how to Configure Check In Check Out and Versioning for Document Library Apps SharePoint 2013. Then we’ll learn how to Apply Metadata Navigation Filtering in SharePoint 2013.

I have created a Site Collection where the top Level Site is based on the Team Site Template. The Template used for the top level site dictates the matrix of Site Collection Features and Site Features that are activated. In this case, I won’t need to activate anything extra as everything I will use in this post has all the supporting technologies ready to go. In another post, I will take what I do here and use Meta Data Driven Navigation which I will have to activate as a Site Feature before using. As long as I am a Site Owner, I have enough permissions to do everything I need in both instances.

The File Share I am migrating has 3 folders in it:

2009
2010
2011

Each folder has GDP report for 4 states:

Arkansas
California
illinois
Michigan

I will create a New Document Library App called gdpReportsLibrary and create the same folder structure my users are used to, with one folder per year. I will add 2 columns of metadata to the gdpReportsLibrary, both will be choice columns:

StateOfOrigin
yearOfReport

A consideration would be to create a Content Type and have these as Site Columns. They could be site columns using Managed Meta data terms if I wanted to really formalize my taxonomy. However for this post, I wanted to keep it really simple and focus on the column default values aspect so choice columns t the library level will work just fine.

This post demonstrates an understanding and ability to do the following:

Understand Meta data and it’s attachment to items.
Creating Library Apps In Share Point 2013
Configuring Library Settings
Configuring Library Column Settings
Customizing Views
Configuring Column Default Value Settings
Creating Folders In Share Point 2013 Document Library Apps
Moving Content Directly Into a Folder in a Document Library Using the new Drag and Drop Functionality
Using Quick Edit
Migrating Documents from a File Share Into Share Point 2013

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I start on the home page of an out of the box Team Site in Share Point 2013. This is where I will put the new Document Library App and migrate the files.

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Here is a screen shot of the File Share which shows it’s folder structure. I have 3 folders; 2009, 2010, and 2011. Each folder has a series of reports about GDP for several states. I am going to be migrating these over to Share Point 2013 so that I can take advantage of all of the amazing Document Management, metadata, and other features.

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Each of the folders has the same collection of reports, it’s just that 2009 has the 2009 versions, 2010 has the 2010 versions and 2011 has the 2011 versions. We can see by this screen shot that there are GDP reports for: Arkansas, California, Illinois and Michigan.

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There are a few ways to add to the site contents, I will add my Document Library App by clicking on the icon on the home page which says: Add lists, libraries, and other apps.

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I don’t even have to look because the first option is the Document Library App, which is the most popular in this Site Collection. If I wanted another kind of app, the Find an app search text box works awesome.

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When I choose to add a Document Library App SharePoint needs me to give it a name. I call this one the gdbByStateReports library and click OK.

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Unlike some previous versions, I am not taken directly to the library. Instead I have to click the icon to get to my newly created Document Library App.

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Most Site Owners and Site Collection Administrators will want to spend a lot of time clicking Library > Library Settings in the ribbon. I need to click the Library tab to change the context of the ribbon which is currently set to browse mode.

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Now I click Library Settings in the ribbon.

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Here I can take a look at the out of the box columns that came with my Document Library App. I will need to add a couple, one to keep track of the state of origin and one to keep track of the year of the report. There are several options for metadata like this. I will use list columns because they will allow me to focus on the topic of this particular post, however I would consider Site Columns, or Site Columns using Meta Data Terms for a production deployment, probably as part of a set of formal content types.

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I will create the first list column called, StateOfOrigin, it will be a choice column and the choices will be: AR, CA, IL, and MI. The default value is first choice which is AR, when I’m done I click OK (clicking OK not shown)

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I see my new list column appearing in the Columns section of my Library Settings Page. Time to add a column for the year of the report so I click Create Column.

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I name the column yearOfReport as shown here. I also make this a choice column with the options including: 2009, 2010, and 2011. The default value is 2009 (the first option) I leave this as is and then click OK (Clicking OK not shown)

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I take a look at the Columns section and note that both my list columns have been successfully added to the Library.

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I want to get back to the all documents page of my gdpByStateReports Document Library App so I click the link in the breadcrumb as shown in the screen shot above.

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In order to build out the Folder Structure in the Library to match what’s on the File Share I need to click the Files tab. This will put the ribbon into the mode to interact with actual items in the library including the ability to add folders.

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I click the New Folder icon.

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I name the first Folder 2009 just like it is in the File Share. I have found that when migrating documents from a file share into Share Point it helps users to see similar structures like this. The great news is we can basically blow right through the folder structure to find anything in the Library quickly, but that’s another post.

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I see the 2009 folder and click the New Folder icon.

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No surprise here, i call this Folder 2010.

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I see my 2009 and 2010 folders, just one more so I click the New Folder Icon.

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I call this one 2011 and hit Save.

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I now have a folder structure in my Document Library that exactly matches the one on my File Share.

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I see several columns in the All Documents view. I want to get rid of a couple to simplify the workspace, so I click the Library tab.

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I notice that the All Documents view is the active view and I click Modify View in the Ribbon.

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I un check Modified and Modified By and make sure that StateOfOrigin and YearOfReport are selected, then I click OK (clicking OK not shown)

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Now I can see very clearly the two pieces of meta data I that are really important in this Library.

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Now that the Library is all set up and ready to go, I am going to configure the Column Default value settings. This way as I migrate the documents from the File share into Share Point 2010 the value of the YearOfReport will automatically be set to the folder it goes into.

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I click Library > Library Settings.

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I click the Column default value settings under General Settings.

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Here I see my 2 choice columns and the folders of my Library. I am going to set the YearOfReport default values by clicking the Folders one at a time and assigning a default value. I know that 2009 is already the default value, but I’m going to go through the steps anyways just in case for some reason someone decides to add another year, say, 2008 that might change the default value of this column. To set the value I click the folder 2009.

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With 2009 selected I click the YearOfReport column.

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I select the radio button to Use this default value and type in 2009 and then click OK. Unfortunately Share Point does not give me an option with all the possible values, I have to know what to type here.

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I then click on the 2010 Folder and Click on the YearOfReport Link. Notice the icon for the 2009 folder has changed to indicate that it has a set default value.

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I repeat the process but this time I set the value to 2010 then click OK.

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Finally I do the same process for the 2011 folder by clicking it and then clicking the YearOfReport link.

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Once again I select the Use this default value radio button, and enter 2011 for the Default Value and then click OK.

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I can see by the icons that each of the folders has a column default value set. I want to get to the home page of my site so I click the Icon.

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I click the link gdpByStateReports to get to my new Library app in order to begin migrating my documents.

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I’ll start with the 2009 documents. I open the 2009 folder in the browser by clicking the 2009 icon.

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I have also opened the 2009 folder in windows explorer and selected all the files. With all the files selected I grab them and drag them into the section for the 2009 folder in Share point that says or drag files here.

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When I’m done, I click the gdpByStateReportsLink

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I’m going to repeat the process for the 2010 folder, so I click the 2010 folder in the browser.

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I grab the reports from the 2010 folder on the File share and drag them into the 2010 folder in Share Point.

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I take a look and voilà the value for YearOfReport has been set to 2010.

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I click the 2011 folder to open it in Share Point 2013.

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I grab all the files from the 2011 folder on the File share and drag them into the 2011 folder in the Share Point 2013 document Library.

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When I’m done, I’ll stay here so i can set the proper meta data values for the StateOfOrigin column.

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In order to set the metadata values for the StateOfOrigin quickly, I am going to use something called Quick Edit. To get there I click the Library tab.

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I click the Quick Edit icon in the ribbon. (this used to be called Data Sheet View).

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I go to each reports StateOfOrigin column and choose the correct state.

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When I’m done setting the column values, I click the Stop editing this list link.

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Now I have each report’s StateOfOrigin and YearOfReport metadata values set correctly. Time to do the other Folders.

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I can do this in any order I like, I went to the 2009 folder and set the values using Quick Edit next.

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Finally I set the values in the 2010 folder.

That’s it! All values are set and the documents are migrated over. I can now take advantage of all the great out of the box functionality of Share Point 2013 including Versioning, Check In/ Check Out, Document Approval and Meta Data Navigation.
I have posts on how to do each of these.


Spike Xavier
SharePoint Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ

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See what people are saying...

  1. MiethMan

    Very good and extended explanation.
    Thanks for that!!!!

  2. BiMo

    Hi, Is there a way to check all “default column value” settings for each folder on the Sharepoint?

  3. Content type Search

    Is this also possible for the content type “Search”?
    This content type uses a list and i want the first value to be the default.

    Looking forward to your answere.

  4. Safiya

    Very Helpful post.

  5. Pingback: Configuring Column Default Data in SharePoint 2013 | Soyka's Blog

  6. Fellipi

    When you deleted a site in SharePoint v2 there was no home bttuon. I was not impressed to see that this issue was not looked at in 2007.I think I speak for everyone when I say there should be a simple link to let users get back to either the top level of the site collection, or the portal home page. I don’t care if it’s the breadcrumb or a simply home link, but I really think there should be a way other than using the browsers back bttuon to get out of there.Example:BeforeAfter

  7. Raj

    Hi, excellent post on default value settings, I have a query regarding the default value option we have in column.
    if we have set the default value in column will it replace the default value in column default value settings

  8. Lance Peters

    Helped me grasp folder level values for the content types I am using. This is a great help! Thanks. LP

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