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, and a number that is calculated from other columns, or even the name and picture of a person on your site.

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 Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.
  2. In the Manage Views group, click Create Column.
  3. In the Name and Type section, type the name that you want for the column in the Column name box.
  4. Under The type of information in this column is, select the type of information that you want to appear in the column.

Creat column dialog

  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. If you want the data in the column validated, click Column Validation to expand, and type the Formula that you want to use to validate the data, and type the User message that you want to provide users to help them type valid data. The Column Validation section is not available for all types of columns.
  2. 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 Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.
  2. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.

Library Settings

  1. On the Settings page, in the Columns section, click Add from existing site columns.
  2. On the Add Columns from Site Columns page, in the Select Columns section, select the group of site columns to choose from in the Select site columns from drop-down list.

When you select a column group from the list, the available site columns appear in the Available site columns list.

Add Columns from Site Columns

  1. Select the site columns you want to add and click Add. 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. Some lists such as the Tasks list also have the option Add to all content types, which is selected by default. If you want to add the column to all content types, make sure Add to all content types remains 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 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 Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.

  1. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.
  2. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.
  3. On the List Settings or Library Settings page, in the Columns section, click the name of the column that you want to change.

Select column

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

Delete a column from a list or library

 Important    This procedure deletes the column and any data in the column. Once you delete a 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 Site Contents, 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.
  3. On the List Settings or Library Settings page, in the Columns section, click the name of the column that you want to delete.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the Change Column page and then click Delete.

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

  1. When prompted, click OK.

To learn how to format the text under column headings in lists, see Format the text under column headings in lists.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Foundation 2013, SharePoint Online Enterprise (E1), SharePoint Online Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E1 & E2), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise (E3 & E4), SharePoint Online operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, SharePoint Online Small Business, SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise, SharePoint Server 2013 Standard