Change a site content type

What do you want to do?


A site content type describes the attributes of a document, folder, or list item. Each site content type can specify the following:

  • A set of properties.
  • Forms to edit the properties and display them.
  • Workflows to be available for the document or list item.
  • The document template to use.

Members of the Site name Owners group can change the content types for the site. By default, any content types that inherit from a content type that you change also are updated with the changes.

Associate a document template with a site content type

 Note   Document templates can be associated only with Document content types, not folders, lists, or discussion boards.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. In the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click the link for the site content type that you want to configure.
  4. In the Settings section, click Advanced settings.
  5. In the Document Template section, type the URL of an existing document template or upload a new document template. The following table lists the types of URLs you can use. The examples are based on the site content type resource folder (that is, the folder that contains the files for site content types) being http://contoso/_cts/ContentTypeName/ and the document template being docname.doc.

 Note   A resource folder in the form of _cts/ContentTypeName (where ContentTypeName is the name of the site content type) exists at the root level of each site.

URL name Example
Server relative /_cts/ContentTypeName/docname.doc
Absolute http://contoso/_cts/ContentTypeName/docname.doc
Resource folder relative docname.doc
Site relative ~/site/LibraryName/docname.doc
  1. In the Read Only section, choose whether to make this content type modifiable or read-only.
  2. In the Update Sites and Lists section, specify whether the content types that inherit from this content type will be updated with your changes.

If you select Yes, other content types that inherit from this content type (called child content types) will inherit the changes you make.

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Add a workflow to a site content type

Adding a workflow to a content type enables end users to run the workflow on all instances of the content type within a list or library. Workflows can be added to all content types including hidden and custom content types. When a content type is added to a list or library, all of its workflow associations are also copied to that list and associated with items of that content type.

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 includes a number of workflow templates that address business processes. Three workflows are automatically associated with the Document content type: Approval, Collect Feedback, and Collect Signatures. System administrators can also create custom workflows.

 Note   A workflow must be deployed on your site collection before you can add it to a site content type. Contact your server administrator if the workflow that you want to add is not available.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. In the Galleries section, click Site content types, and then select the content type to which you want to add a workflow.
  3. On the Site Content Type page, in the Settings section, click Workflow settings.
  4. On the Change Workflow Settings page, click Add a workflow.
  5. On the Add a Workflow page, select the workflow template to use, and then type a name that distinguishes the workflow for the content type.

The name is displayed to users when starting a workflow and when viewing the workflow status, so a short name that describes the business process is recommended.

  1. Use the instructions in the topic, Change the workflow settings for a site content type, to configure the workflow settings.
  2. If the workflow you are adding has a Customize Workflow page, click Next to proceed to the Customize Workflow page, choose the settings you want, and then click OK.

If the workflow you are adding does not have a Customize Workflow page, click OK.

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Remove a workflow from a content type

Removing a workflow from a content type terminates any workflow instances that are in progress and deletes their history and tasks. You also have the option to allow in-progress workflow instances to be completed but prevent new instances from being started.

When you delete a workflow association on a content type from which other (child) content types inherit settings, not only is the workflow deleted from those child content types, but any workflow instances from that association that are in progress are immediately terminated and their history and tasks are also deleted.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. In the Galleries section, click Site content types, and then select the content type to which you want to add a workflow.
  3. On the Site Content Type page, in the Settings section, click Workflow settings.
  4. On the Change Workflow Settings page, click Remove a workflow.
  5. On the Remove Workflows page, find the workflow you want to remove, and then do one of the following:
    • To remove a workflow and terminate any workflow instances that are in progress, click Remove next to the workflow.
    • To allow in-progress workflow instances to be completed, but not new instances, click No New Instances next to the workflow.
  6. Click OK.

At the prompt to apply the changes to all content types that inherit from this content type, do one of the following:

  • To remove the workflow from this content type but not from content types that inherit from it (child content types), click Cancel. The workflow will continue to be available to the child content types.
  • To remove this workflow association from all child content types and delete any running workflows based on this workflow association, click OK. This operation may take awhile depending on the size of the site collection and the number of running workflows.

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Add an existing column to a site content type

Follow this procedure to add a column that is already defined on your site or its parent site to a site content type.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. In the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  4. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click the site content type that you want to configure.
  5. On the Site Content Type page, in the Columns section, click Add from existing site columns.

The Add Columns to Site Content Type page appears.

  1. In the Select Columns section, select the group that you want to filter on from the Select columns from list.

The following table describes the groups and the types of columns they contain that are available by default.

Select this To display this
All Groups All columns that are available to any group.
Base Columns Columns that are useful in many types of lists or libraries.
Core Contact and Calendar Columns Columns that are useful in contact and calendar lists. These columns are typically used to synchronize metadata from client contact and calendar programs, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 2007.
Core Document Columns Standard document columns from the Dublin Core Metadata Set. Many of these columns are part of the Microsoft Office core property set.
Core Task and Issue Columns Columns that are useful in task and issues lists. These columns are typically used to synchronize metadata from client task and issue programs, such as Office Outlook 2007.
Extended Columns A set of special-purpose columns.
  1. Select the column that you want to add from the Available columns list, and then click Add.

 Tip   To quickly add multiple column types, press CTRL while you click each available column that you want to add.

  1. In the Update List and Site Content Types section, specify whether the child site content types that inherit from this site content type will be updated with your changes.
  2. After you finish adding the columns that you want, click OK.

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Add a new column to a site content type

Follow this procedure to define a new column and add it to a site content type. Note that the new column that you create becomes available to the site on which it is created and to its child sites. After you create the new column, you can add it to other content types and also to lists and libraries. If you do not want your new column to be used by others, you can hide it by adding it to a new group called "_Hidden."

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click the site content type that you want to configure.

The configuration page for the site content type that you selected appears.

  1. In the Columns section, click Add from new site column.
  2. On the New Site Column page, in the Name and Type section, type a name for the new column type, and then select the type of information that can be stored in this column.

 Tip   Column names are not case sensitive. For example, if a column named Description is already defined on your site collection, you cannot create a new column named description.

  1. In the Group section, either select an existing group or type the name of a new group in which to store this new column.
  2. In the Additional Column Settings section, specify any additional column settings that you want. For example, you can type a description for your column, specify whether information is required for this column, the maximum number of characters that can be stored in this column, and a default value for the column.
  3. In the Update List and Site Content Types section, specify whether the child site content types that inherit from this site content type will be updated with your changes.
  4. After you finish adding the columns that you want, click OK.

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Change the column order for a site content type

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click the link for the site content type that you want to configure.

The configuration page for the site content type that you selected appears.

  1. In the Columns section, click Column order.
  2. Use the drop-down lists in the Position from Top column to reorder the columns the way that you want.
  3. In the Update Sites and Lists section, specify whether the child site content types that inherit from this site content type will be updated with your changes.

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Change Document Information Panel Settings

The Document Information Panel enables end users to view and change content type properties directly within a 2007 Microsoft Office system document. For example, if the document content type for your site collection has a Status column, end users can view the Status property on the Document Information Panel, and change the status from Draft to Final. When the document is saved back to the server, the change is updated in the Status column.

The Document Information Panel is a Microsoft Office InfoPath form that is created automatically in an 2007 Office release document and reflects the document's editable properties on the server. When you configure a content type, you can generate an InfoPath form based on the properties of the content type. You can then customize and deploy the form as you would any other InfoPath form. The customized form is then referenced by the document. End users can view or edit document properties easily by using the Document Information Panel, which is displayed at the top of an Office document.

  1. On the site collection home page, click Site Actions, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click the link for the site content type to which the Document Information Panel is associated.
  4. On the Site Content Type page, in the Settings section, click Document Information Panel settings.
  5. On the Document Information Panel Settings page, specify which template you want to use for the Document Information Panel.
    • If you don't have one already, you can create a custom template in InfoPath by clicking Create a new custom template.
    • To use a custom template you currently have, you can upload it by clicking Browse, or you can reference it from a shared location such as a UNC path. The path is placed in the document and is subsequently referenced in order to display the Document Information Panel when the document is opened.
    • To continue using the default template that is created automatically, or to revert back to it, select Use the default template for Microsoft Office applications.

The default template for Microsoft Office lists the columns that have been defined for the content type.

  1. In the Show Always section, select the check box to display the Document Information Panel for every document that is created with the content type.

This setting ensures that the Document Information Panel is displayed when an existing document of this content type is opened and when it is first saved. By default, the Document Information Panel is always displayed when a new document is created from within the site collection or when renaming a document and saving it to the same location.

  1. Click OK to enable the Document Information Panel changes.

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Add an information management policy

Adding an information management policy to a content type makes it easy to associate policy features with multiple lists or libraries. You can choose to add an existing information management policy to a content type or create a unique policy specific to an individual content type.

 Note   You can also add an information management policy to a content type that is specific to lists. This has the effect of applying the policy only to items in that list that are using the content type.

  1. On the site collection home page, click Site Actions, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, select the content type that you want to add a policy to.
  4. On the Site Content Type page, in the Settings section, click Information management policy settings.
  5. On the Information Management Policy Settings page, specify which policy that you want to use:
    • To apply an existing policy to the content type, select Use a site collection policy, select the policy name from the list, and then click OK.
    • To create a unique policy for the content type, follow these steps:
      1. Select Define a policy, and then click OK.
      2. On the Edit Policy page, type a name and description for the policy, and then write a brief policy statement that explains to users what the policy is for. A policy statement can be up to 512 characters long.
      3. Use the information in the topic, Configure features of an information management policy, to set up the features that you want to associate with the policy.

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Manage document conversions

Site administrators can enable document conversion so that end users can convert documents of one file type into another format. Document conversion for site content types also enables site administrators to configure content types to store settings that define which converters are available and how those converters work on documents of that content type. A number of document converters are included with Office SharePoint Server 2007, and your organization might have additional, custom converters as well. After document conversion is enabled in Central Administration, the converters are available by default for all site content types that can be used in a document library. This includes the following content types:

  • Document content types, such as Basic Page, Document, Form, and Picture
  • Page layout content types, such as Article Page, Redirect Page, and Welcome Page

Converters that have been enabled are available to end users when they select a document of a given content type, and then click Convert document from the context menu. Only the converter or converters specific to the document's file type (for example, .docx) are listed.

When there are multiple converters for a file type, such as XML, you might prefer to edit the list of converters to ensure that users only see converters that are relevant for documents of this content type. Also, you might want to change configuration options for a converter. For either of these situations, you can use the following steps to make changes to document converters.

  1. On the site collection home page, on the Site Actions menu, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.
  2. On the Site Settings page, in the Galleries section, click Site content types.
  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, select the content type for which you want to manage document conversion.
  4. On the Site Content Type page, in the Settings section, click Manage document conversion for this content type.

 Note   Document converters are only available for document content types.

  1. Clear the check box for any converter that you do not want to be displayed to end users. Make sure that all converters you want to use are selected, and then click Apply.
  2. If the converter you want to use has a Configure option next to it, you can click it to define new conversion settings.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server 2007