Libraries allow you to share files with site users. The kind of library you use depends upon the kind of files that you are sharing. To share a collection of digital pictures or graphics, use a picture library. If you need to store a group of XML-based business forms, use a form library. For most other file types including documents and spreadsheets, use a document library.
A library displays a page that lists each file or folder and its properties, as well as a hyperlink to each file. The page includes commands for adding files and folders, sorting and filtering the list of files, switching to a different view of the library, and changing the design of the library. You can also create alerts so you are notified of any changes in the library or specific files within a library.
When you add or remove a file from a library, Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services updates all hyperlinks to it in your site.
Note When you delete a file from a library all versions of the file are deleted as well.
About document libraries
Document libraries are collections of files that you share with team members. For example, you can create a library of common documents for a project.
By default, your team Web site comes with a built-in document library named Shared Documents, which is listed on the Quick Launch bar as well as on the Documents and Lists page.
Note The features on your site may vary based on the template your site uses.
Kinds of documents
You can store any kind of file in a document library. However, there are some advantages to using document libraries in conjunction with client programs compatible with Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Office 2003:
- You can set up a template that automatically starts the appropriate program and formats documents consistently when team members create new documents in the document library.
- You can open and modify your documents from within Windows SharePoint Services — compatible client programs as though the documents resided on any other network place or on your hard disk.
About form libraries
Form libraries provide a simple way for you to share and track XML-based forms (.xml files) that are used to gather the same type of information. For example, you can create a form library for your team's status report forms to provide a single location for team members to quickly fill out, save, and view their forms.
A form template is associated with each form library; this form template defines the structure and appearance of all forms created from the form library, as well as the appropriate application with which to open the form.
Although any file type can be stored in a form library, there are several advantages to storing only .xml files, which require a Windows SharePoint Services — compatible XML editor, such as Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003. These advantages include the ability to use form library columns (which can be designed to display specific information stored within each form in the library) and the ability to merge data from multiple forms into a single form.
About picture libraries
Picture libraries provide a simple way to share and organize digital pictures in a corporate server environment. For example, an organization could create a picture library for marketing graphics — providing a single location for team members to view, share, edit, and download corporate logos or other marketing material.
Although pictures can be stored in other types of SharePoint lists, there are many advantages to using picture libraries. These advantages include viewing pictures with one of three unique display styles, sharing pictures using slide shows or by sending pictures directly to Microsoft Office 2003 programs, downloading pictures directly to a computer, and editing pictures with Windows SharePoint Services — compatible image editors, such as Microsoft Office Picture Manager.
About Explorer View
By default, libraries include an Explorer View that enables you to work with files in the library similar to the way you work with files in Microsoft Windows Explorer. By using Explorer View, you can:
- Delete files and folders
- Rename files and folders
- Copy and paste files and folders from your desktop
- Select multiple files and folders to delete, move, or copy
Note To use Explorer view, you must have a Windows SharePoint Services — compatible client program, such as Microsoft Office 2003, and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later installed.
About custom properties
You can specify the type of information that authors must provide when they add a file to the library.
For example, if you have a document library of product plans, you can require authors to enter the document title, comments about the document's content, and the document's status.
Create a document library
Add a file to a document library
Create a form library
Add a form to a form library
Create a picture library
Add one or more pictures to a picture library
Read, edit, or delete a file in a library
About document and picture library versioning
About document check out and check in