Change a content type for a list or library

After you add a site content type (content type: A reusable group of settings for a category of content. Use content types to manage the metadata, templates, and behaviors of items and documents consistently. Content types are defined at the site level and used on lists and libraries.) to a specific list or library, you can customize it for that location. Content types that are associated with lists or libraries are called list content types. Any changes that you make to a list content type apply only to the instance of that content type that has been added to the list or library. The parent site content type for the list content type is not updated with the changes. If you customize any inherited attributes of a list content type, and its parent site content type is updated, your customizations will be overwritten (unless you make your list content type read-only). If you customize a list content type by adding additional attributes to it that it does not share with its parent site content type, these additional attributes will not be overwritten if the parent site content type is updated.

You must have at least the Manage Lists permission to change content types for a list or library.

What do you want to do?


Add a document template to a content type

You can associate a document template only with a document content type (any content type derived from the document parent content type). By associating a document template with a content type, you can help ensure that when authors create new documents of this content type, the documents are all based on an identical template.

For example, your organization might use a particular document template for legal contracts. If you associate this document template with the content type that your organization uses for legal contracts, any new legal contracts created by using this content type are all based on this legal contract document template.

  1. Go to the document library in which you want to update the content type with a document template.
  2. On the Ribbon, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to change.

 Note   If the document library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the library.

  1. Under Settings, click Advanced settings.
  2. If the document template you want to use is stored somewhere on your site, click Enter the URL of an existing document template, and then type the URL for the template you want to use.

 Note   You can use a URL that is relative to a location on a site or resource folder. Document templates may be stored in either the default site resource location http://Server Name/Site/Document Library Name/Forms/Content Type Name/ or a library location that has been set up specifically to store document templates.

The following table provides examples of the types of URLs that you can use. The examples assume the existence of the default document template resource folder (the folder that contains the files for site content types) located at http://Server Name/Site/Document Library Name/Forms/Content Type Name/, and that the document template is named Docname.doc.

URL Type Example
Site relative Server Name/Site/Library Name/Forms/Docname.doc
Resource folder relative Docname.doc
  1. If you want to upload the document template that you want to use, in the Document Template section, click Upload a new document template, and then click Browse. In the Choose File dialog box, browse to the location of the file that you want to use, select it, and then click Open.
  2. Click OK.

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Make changes to the columns for a content type

You can specify the properties or metadata that you want to collect for an item of a specific content type by adding columns to that content type. For example, your organization might want to track a specific set of metadata for all of its purchase orders, such as account number, project number, and project manager. If you add columns for account number, project number, and project manager to the purchase order content type, users are prompted to provide this metadata for items of this content type.

If you have a list or library that contains items of multiple different content types, you can collect unique metadata for items of each content type by adding columns directly to the relevant content type instead of to the list or library itself.

There are several ways you can change columns for a content type. You can:

Add a column

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to change.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Columns, click Add from existing site or list columns.
  2. In the Select Columns section, under Select columns from, click the arrow to select the group from which you want to add a column.
  3. Under Available columns, click the column that you want to add, and then click Add to move the column to the Columns to add list.
  4. To add additional columns, repeat steps 5 and 6.
  5. Click OK.

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Remove a column

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to change.

 Note   If the document library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the library.

  1. Under Columns, click the name of the column that you want to remove from the content type.
  2. Click the Remove button, and then click OK when you are asked if you want to remove the column from the content type.

 Note   The Remove button may not be available for all columns associated with a content type.

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Change column order

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to change.

 Note   If the document library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the library.

  1. Under Columns, click Column order.
  2. In the Column Order section, click the arrow next to the column that you want to reorder in the Position from Top column, and then select the order number that you want.
  3. Click OK.

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Make a column required, optional, or hidden

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to change.

 Note   If the document library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the library.

  1. Under Columns, click the name of the column that you want to make required.
  2. In the Column Settings section, do one of the following:
    • To require users to specify information for a column, click Required.
    • To make it optional for users to specify information for a column, click Optional.
    • To hide a column so that it does not appear in any New, Edit, or Display forms for the content type, click Hidden.
  3. Click OK.

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Add a workflow to a content type

Workflows (workflow: The automated movement of documents or items through a specific sequence of actions or tasks related to a business process. Workflows can be used to consistently manage common business processes, such as document approval or review.) make it possible to specify a business process for items and documents in a site. Organizations can use workflows to automate and manage certain common business processes, such as document approval or review. By adding a workflow to a content type, you can help ensure that all items of that content type are subject to consistent business processes. If a workflow has been added to a content type, that workflow can be started on individual items of that content type.

 Note   You can add a workflow to a content type for a list or library only if a workflow has been deployed for your site or workspace. If workflows do not appear to be available, contact your Central Administrator.

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type to which you want to add a workflow.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the library.

  1. Under Settings, click Workflow settings.
  2. Click Add a workflow.
  3. On the Add a Workflow page, in the Workflow section, click the workflow template that you want to use.
  4. In the Name section, type a unique name for the workflow.
  5. In the Task List section, specify a task list to use with this workflow.


 Notes 

  • You can use the default Tasks list or you can create a new one. If you use the default Tasks list, workflow participants can find and view their workflow tasks easily by using the My Tasks view of the Tasks list.
  • Create a new Tasks list if the tasks for this workflow involve or reveal sensitive or confidential data that you want to keep separate from the general Tasks list.
  • Create a new Tasks list if your organization has numerous workflows or if workflows involve numerous tasks. In this instance, you might want to create Tasks lists for each workflow.
  1. In the History List section, select a history list to use with this workflow. The history list displays all of the events that occur during each instance of the workflow.

 Note   You can use the default History list or you can create a new one. If your organization has numerous workflows, you might want to create a separate History list for each workflow.

  1. In the Start Options section, specify how, when, or by whom a workflow can be started.

 Note   Specific options may not be available if they are not supported by the workflow template you selected.

  1. Click either OK or Next.
  2. On the Customize Workflow page, select any additional options that you want, and then click OK.

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Make a content type read-only

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to make the content type read-only.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type that you want to make read-only.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Advanced settings.
  2. In the Read Only section, under Should this content type be read only?, click Yes.
  3. Click OK.

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Specify an information management policy for a content type

You can apply an existing site collection policy to a list content type. Alternatively, you can create a new information management policy that applies only to a specific list content type.

Apply a site collection policy to a list content type

If information management policies have already been created for your site as site collection policies, you can apply them to individual list content types.

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type to which you want to apply an information management policy.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Information management policy settings.
  2. Under Specify the policy, click Use a site collection policy, and then select the policy you want to apply.
  3. Click OK.

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Create a new information management policy for a list content type

You can define an information management policy that applies only to a specific list content type. If you create an information management policy this way, you cannot reuse this policy on other lists, libraries, or sites. If a list or library allows multiple content types, you cannot define an information management policy that applies to the entire list or library. Instead, you need to define an information management policy for each individual list content type associated with that list or library.

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type for which you want to define an information management policy.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Information management policy settings.
  2. Under Specify the policy, click Define a policy, and then click OK.
  3. On the Edit Policy page, in the Name and Administrative Description section, type a brief description for the policy you are creating.

 Note   When you define a policy for a list content type, the name of the list content type becomes the name of the policy. You can specify unique names only for information management policies that are defined in the Site Collection Policies list.

  1. In the Policy Statement section, type a descriptive statement that explains the purpose of the policy to users. This statement displays to users when they open documents or items subject to the policy. It should explain what policy features apply to the content or what special handling is required for the content. A policy statement can be up to 512 characters long.
  2. In the next sections, select the individual policy features that you want to add to your information management policy.

For more information about configuring the features of the individual information management policies, see the links that appear under See Also.

  1. When you have finished selecting options for the individual policy features that you want to add to this information management policy, click OK to apply the policy features.

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Change the Document Information Panel settings for a content type

The Document Information Panel—which is displayed in the following Microsoft Office 2010 programs: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint—enables users to view and change the content type properties for a document saved to a document management server directly within the Office program they use to edit the document. For example, if the document content type for a specific library has a Status column, users can view the Status property in the Document Information Panel in Word when they edit the document. They can also use the Document Information Panel to change the value of the Status property from Draft to Final. When the document is saved to the server, this property is automatically updated in the Status column for the library.

  1. Go to the list or library in which you want to change the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type for which you want to change the Document Information Panel.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Document Information Panel settings.
  2. In the Document Information Panel Template section, do one of the following:
    • To use a default template that displays the properties (columns) that have been defined for the content type, click Use the default template for Microsoft Office applications.
    • To use an existing custom template, click Use existing custom template (URL, UNC, or URN), and then type the path to the location of the template.
    • To upload an existing custom template (XSN), click Upload an existing custom template (XSN) to use, and then click Browse to locate the template that you want to use.

 Note   If you plan to upload a template this way, you must remove the publish URL from the template in InfoPath before you publish and upload the template.

  • To create a custom panel in InfoPath, click Create a new custom template.

 Note   If you select this option, InfoPath starts and displays the default template, which you can customize to create a custom panel.

  1. In the Show Always section, specify whether you want this Document Information Panel to display automatically when documents of this content type are first opened or saved within an Office 2010 program.
  2. Click OK.

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Remove a content type from a list or library

When you remove a content type from a list or library, users will no longer be able to create new items of that content type in the list or library. Removing a content type from a list or library does not delete any items that were created from the content type.

  1. Go to the list or library from which you want to remove the content type.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you are working in a list, click the List tab, and then click List Settings.
    • If you are working in a library, click the Library tab, and then click Library Settings.
  3. Under Content Types, click the name of the content type you want to remove.

 Note   If the list or library has not been set up to allow multiple content types, the Content Types section does not appear on the Customize page for the list or library.

  1. Under Settings, click Delete this content type.
  2. When you are asked if you are sure you want to delete this content type, click OK.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server 2010