List and Library Columns

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

These are the most popular types of columns. They are easy to create and you don’t need to put a lot of thought into it.

Site Columns

You can create columns directly from the Ribbon in the LIST or LIBRARY tab, available in all lists and libraries.

Create Column feature in Ribbon

The person creating the list or library can then choose from a list of column types to help control the information that’s to be populated in the list. Review the posts about column types from a few weeks ago to learn more about each column type and how to use them.

Advantages of list/library columns

They are easy to create, and once you become more familiar with column types, you will more easily be able to set up your lists with the data you want to capture.

Disadvantages of list/library columns

The advantage is also the disadvantage in this case. It’s often easier to create a column than it is to think through whether the list column is really the better option, or whether site columns or content types might be the better way to go.

Any edits that you make on a list column will have to be made on other list columns containing the same data. Imagine if you had a list column called “Department” and given that our division has a tendency to change at least one department name per year, you would have to change each of the list columns within your site each time a department name is changed.

In cases such as this, you would want to move these types of lists over to a Site Column.

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