Create, change, or delete a column in a list or library

Columns help you group, categorize, and track information, such as the department name or project number. From a browser, you have many options for the type of column that you create. They include columns such as, a single line of text, a drop-down list of options, a number that is calculated from other columns, or even the name and picture of a person on your site. Programs such as Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 offer even more options for creating columns, such as specifying the column width.

There are columns for a site, just like there are columns for lists and libraries. You can add a site column to a list or library. You might do this if the column that you want for a list or library already exists as a site column.

To create a column for a list or library you must have at least the permissions (permissions: The specific security settings that allow or restrict access to a given item, list, library, or site.) obtained by being added to the default Designers SharePoint group for the site.

What do you want to do?


Create a column in a list or library

The following procedure starts from the list or library page to which you want to add the column. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch. If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab. The name of the tab may vary depending on the type of list or library. For example, if your list is a calendar, the name of the tab is Calendar.
  2. In the Manage Views group, click Create Column.
  3. In the Create List dialog box,

Create column dialog box

  1. In the Name and Type section, type the name that you want for the column in the Column name box.
  2. Under The type of information in this column is, select the type of information that you want to appear in the column.

 Note    Depending on the type of column that you select, you may be unable to change the type of column type after you create it.

  1. In the Additional Column Settings section, type a description in the Description box to help people understand the purpose of the column and what data it should contain. This description is optional.

Depending on the type of column that you selected, more options may appear in the Additional Column Settings section. Select the additional settings that you want.

  1. To add the column to the default view, which people on your site automatically see when they first open a list or library, make sure that Add to default view is selected.

If you want the data in the column validated, in the Column Validation section, type the Formula that you want to use to validate the data, and type the User message that you want to proved users to help them type valid data. The Column Validation section is not available for all types of columns.

  1. Click OK.

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Add a site column to a list or library

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab. The name of the tab may vary depending on the type of list or library. For example, if your list is a calendar, the name of the tab is Calendar.
  2. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.

List settings

  1. On the List Settings or Library Settings page, in the Columns section, click Add from existing site columns.
  2. On the Columns from Site Columns page, in the Select Columns section, select Available site columns, and then click Add.

When you select a column in Available site columns, the group the column is in and a description are displayed if available.

Add site colomn

  1. To add the column to the default view, which people on your site automatically see when they first open a list or library, make sure Add to default view is selected.

Depending on the type list or library, there may be more settings in the Options section. Select the additional options that you want.

  1. Click OK.

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Change the settings for a column in a list or library

You can change the settings for a column, such as the name of the column. Depending on the type of column and the type of list, you can make additional changes, such as how much text a user can enter. Programs such as SharePoint Designer 2010 offer even more options for modifying columns, such as specifying the column width.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the Ribbon, click the List or Library tab. The name of the tab may vary depending on the type of list or library. For example, if your list is a calendar, the name of the tab is Calendar.
  2. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.

List settings

  1. On the List Settings or Library Settings page, in the Columns section, click the name of the column that you want to change.

Columns section of list settings

  1. Change the settings that you want, and then click OK.

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Delete a column from a list or library

 Important    This procedure deletes the column and any data in the column. You cannot restore the column from the Recycle Bin.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the Ribbon, click the List or Library tab. The name of the tab may vary depending on the type of list or library. For example, if your list is a calendar, the name of the tab is Calendar.
  2. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.

List settings

  1. On the List Settings or Library Settings page, in the Columns section, click the name of the column that you want to delete.

Columns section of list settings

  1. Scroll to the bottom of the Change Column page and then click Delete.

 Note    Lists and libraries contain required columns that cannot be deleted, such as the Title or Name. If the column cannot be deleted, the Delete button is not available. If you cannot delete a column, but you do not want the column to appear in a view, you can remove it from the view.

  1. When prompted, click OK.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Foundation 2010 , SharePoint Server 2010