In this post we will discuss how to configure metadata navigation for document libraries in SharePoint online. Metadata navigation filtering mechanism helps users to dynamically filter contents from list or document libraries based on metadata.
What is MetaData?
Metadata is data about data meaning metadata describes additional information about an item, file or document. Like Metadata for a file can be author name, document type, document size etc. If you want to associate a meta data to a document, first you need to add a column to the document library. By default SharePoint provides few metadata columns.
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SharePoint introduced metadata to overcome problems with the folder structure inside document library.
Few problems with folder structure inside document library are:
– Very difficult to get information from nested folder structure.
– If you have more nested folders then you may face URL length limitation problem, because URL length is limited to ~260 characters.
– You can not sort or filter from SharePoint document library headers. Like this there are lots of disadvantages.
For this particular example I have a custom document library inside my SharePoint online site where I have added one more column of choice type name as “Course” which has values like:- Administration- Developer- End User- Interview QuestionsAnd I have uploaded few documents to the document library. Overall the document library looks like below:
configure metadata navigation for document libraries in SharePoint Online
To work with meta data navigation first we need to activate the “Metadata Navigation and Filtering” feature. So click on the Gear icon and then click on “Site Settings” which will open the Site Settings page. Then click on “Managed site features” link which is presented in “Site Actions” category.
Then in the “Site Features” features page search for “Metadata Navigation and Filtering” feature and click on Activate like below:
Then go back to the document library and click on “Library Settings” from the Ribbon. In the List Settings page, click on “Metadata navigation settings” which is under General Settings.
Then in the “Metadata Navigation Settings” page go to “Configure Key Filters” section and there you can see the available columns in the “Available Key Filter Fields” section and here I have added the Status column to appear in the filter list like below:
Now if you will go back to the document library you can see a Key Filters section must be appearing in the left navigation like below.
You can choose a course and click on Apply and then it will show only the documents which matches the filter criteria.
Configure Navigation Hierarchies:Metadata navigation is really helpful to find contents in large lists or libraries.
You can also Configure navigation hierarchies from the Metadata Navigation Settings page. Visit to the Metadata Navigation Settings page and then from the “Configure Navigation Hierarchies” section select the column which you want to appear in the hierarchy like below. Here I have added the Course custom column which we have created for the document library.
Then click on OK to Save the changes and if you will open the document library, you can see like below:
Hope this will be helpful.
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