#Office365Challenge – Content Types in SharePoint Part 1. My next couple of blogs will be about the Content Types in SharePoint. Today we’ll cover the basics, what are content types in layman’s terms?

Day: 128 of 365, 237 left
Tools: SharePoint
Description: Content Types in SharePoint

A content type defines the attributes of a list item, a document, or a folder. Each content type can specify the following:
• Properties to associate with items of its type.
• Metadata to associate with items of its type.
• Workflows that can be started from items of its type.
• Information management policies to associate with items of its type.
• Document templates (for document content types).
• Custom features. Read more…

Now of course you can associate most of these with the specific list or library, but then it would not be reusable across your site(s).

So what are content types really?

Each library or list (application) in SharePoint is associated with a content type. At the lowest level this defines which metadata columns are linked to that application. for example, the Calendar has the Event content type which includes the columns for start date, end date, category etc. So every time you create that app, it builds all those columns automatically.

The analogy I’m going to use is a kitchen drawer. Every time you build kitchen drawers it automatically has compartments for the cutlery – knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons. If you want to build a building where every kitchen has a kitchen drawer with an extra compartment for the toothpicks – you’ll have to use a different “kitchen drawer compartment” – content type. You’ll use the original kitchen drawer compartment, copy it and then add the extra compartment. From now every time you build a kitchen drawer, you will use your newly customized kitchen drawer compartment, not the standard one – get it?

In SharePoint a Document Library would be the kitchen drawer, the cutlery the content, the compartment is the content type and the different sections are the metadata columns. If you need all your document libraries to have a column for Classification, then you will copy the default Document Content Type and add the Classification column.


Tomorrow we’ll take a look at how to add your own content types.

Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but where applicable, to the overall Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.