SharePoint: Creating/Managing a Documentation Library

This article provides a comprehensive overview of how to use libraries in SharePoint. The most common type of library is a document library. This article pertains to managing document libraries.

A library is a location on a site where files can uploaded, created, updated, and collaborated on with team members. Each library displays a list of files and key information about the files. Team sites include a documents library where documents can be organized and shared.


Task: To create a document library.



Step 1 - Go to the team site to create a new document library.

Step 2 - On the menu bar, click New and then click Document library.

Document Library








Note: For other types of libraries, click App, and choose the library you want to create.


Step 3In the Create document library pane, type a name for the new document library and, add an optional description. To add a link to the new document library, select Show in site navigation in the left-hand navigation for the site. This option is selected by default.

Create Document Library Pane


Step 4 - Click Create to create the new document library or click Cancel to return to the team site.


Outcome: The documentation library is created.


Storing documents in a single library.

You may want one library to serve diverse needs. For example, there might be several projects within the same group, or multiple groups working on the same project. Consider using a single library when:

  • A group needs to see summary information about, or different views of, the same set of files. For example, a manager may want to see all files grouped by department or by due date.
  • People want to search for the files in the same location on a site.
  • Multiple files require the same settings, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval.
  • The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission.
  • You want to analyze information about the files in a spreadsheet, or to receive consolidated updates about the files.

To work efficiently with documents in one library, files can be organized in a library by adding columns, defining views, or creating folders.


Storing documents in multiple libraries.

You may want to create multiple libraries when there are distinct differences among the sets of files that are stored and managed, or among the groups of people who work with the files. Use multiple libraries when:

  • The types of files that are stored and managed are distinct, and you don't expect people to frequently view summaries of the files or to search the files together. The groups of people who are using the files are distinct and have distinctly different permission levels.
  • Sets of files require different settings, such as versioning or approval.
  • Files don't need to be analyzed together, or receive consolidated updates.
  • Different sets of options for creating new files are preferred, or you want the options of the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.


Task: To manage document libraries.

Below are suggestions on ways to manage a document library.


Setting up site templates and columns.

If an organization wants to establish some consistent settings across its libraries, it can set up site templates and site columns. Settings can be shared across multiple libraries so so settings don't need to be recreated each time. 


Sending files to another location.

If a file needs to be available in multiple libraries, it can be stored in one library, and a copy can be sent to other libraries. You can choose to be reminded to update any copies of the document when changes are made to the original.


Creating library templates.

If you want to establish some uniform settings for libraries or reuse characteristics across libraries, libraries can be saved as templates. Library templates are available as an option on the Add an App page on a site.


Using columns, views, and folders together.

All three approaches can work together. The same columns used to track documents in the default view of a library can be used to create a view with several filter criteria. People can sort and filter a view dynamically by clicking the column headers to find content at the spur of the moment. If a folder structure has been defined in the library, you can "flatten" a library view by setting the Show all items without folders option in the Folders section when you create or modify the view. Each approach can complement the other to get the right content at the right time and in the right way for you.


Organizing files in a library

There are several ways to organize files in a library. You can add columns, define views, and create folders. Each approach has its own advantages, and you can combine each approach together to fit the unique needs of your library and your team.


Task: To create a view



Step 1 - Go to List settings

Step 2 - Change other settings for the view, such as Sort and Filter, and then click OK at the bottom of the page.

Step 3 - In the Columns section, select the preferred columns in the view and clear the columns that you don’t want to appear. Next to the column numbers, select the preferred order for the columns to appear in.

Note: If Create a Public View is disabled, you don’t have Design permission level or higher.

Step 4 - In the Audience section, under View Audience, select Create a Personal view or Create a Public view

Step 5Select Make this the default view to make this the default view for the list. Only a public view can be the default view.

Step 6 - In the View Name box, type the name for the view.

Note: Once a view type is chosen, it cannot be changed, but another view can be created with a different view type. For more information, see View types you can choose.


Step 7 - On the View Type page, choose a view type. This opens the Create View page for that view type. The most common view type is Standard View which displays list items one row following another. Standard View is the default for most types of lists.

Step 8At the bottom of the Settings page, click Create view.


Outcome: A view is created for the document library.


Task: To set up document library folders for upload-only access

Note: Only the owner of the site can implement these instructions.



Step 1 - On the SharePoint Site, click on the upper right cogwheel and choose Site Permissions.

Step 2 - Click Advanced Site Permissions.

Step 3 - On the upper bar, choose Permission Levels.

Step 4 - Click Add a Permission Level.

Step 5 - Give the new permission level an identifiable and unique name, and give it the following permissions:

  • List Permissions - Add Items, View Items
  • Site Permissions - View Pages, Open


Step 6 - Click Create at the bottom.

Step 7 - Navigate to the document library in question, or create a new one following steps in this article.

Step 8 - Click the cogwheel in the upper right and choose Library Settings.

Step 9 - In Library Settings, choose Permissions for this Document Library.

Step 10 - In the upper bar, click Stop inheriting permissions.

Step 11 - Select both Viewers and Members using the check box, then click Remove User Permissions.

Step 12 - Navigate back to the document library, and create a new folder using the New button. Give the folder a unique and identifiable name.

Step 13 - Hover over the newly created folder, and click the Three Vertical Buttons. Choose Manage Access.

Step 14 - Inside of this permission screen, click Stop Inheriting Permissions.

Step 15 - Click Grant Permissions.

Step 16 - In the Grant Permissions window, add the user; Search by email, username, or display name (Last, First).

Step 17 - Once a user is selected, click Show Options.

Step 18 - Under Select a Permission Level, choose the permission level created before. Choose to either send an email or not, then click Share.

Step 19 - Navigate back to the document library.

Step 20 - Hover over the newly created folder, and click the Three Vertical Buttons. Choose Copy Link.

Step 21 - Make sure that the link is set to People with existing access. Copy and share the link with the users.

Step 22 - Repeat these steps for different folders to have different users able to upload to separate folders.


Outcome: Users can now upload documents to folders in a documentation library.


Need additional help?

Please use this link to the ET&S Help Desk team to locate your local campus contact information. Use the “Submit a Question” for your campus to enter an online support request.


Article ID: 1667
Fri 7/19/19 6:15 PM
Tue 6/28/22 12:11 PM
Applicable Institution(s):
Granite State College (GSC)
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)
USNH System Office