The “Edit” icon column: a SharePoint essential for all lists and libraries

Asset 2edit

Yesterday in a SharePoint 200 session I gave at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, I shared one of my favorite SharePoint “nuggets” which is the “Edit” icon available out-of-the-box, and easily added by any level of user in just 4-5 steps.

This edit icon column can be added to any list or library view in SharePoint and allows you one-click access to edit the properties of a document or edit a list item or form. In addition to that it’s security-trimmed, meaning only people who have edit/contribute permissions will actually see the icon at all. Everyone else will only see an empty column.

To add the column, you must have the ability to create or modify views and list settings.

Note this is only available in classic view lists and libraries. In the O365/Modern experience you can simply select an item, click “Edit” and the right edit pane appears to allow a similar experience.

Add the “edit icon” column to your list and/or library view(s)

  1. Go to the list or library for which you’re adding the edit column, and select the view for which you’ll be adding the column if other than the default view
  2. Click the ellipses on the view menu
    view menu
  3. Click “Modify this view”
  4. Under “Columns”, select “Edit (link to edit item)” and change the position number on the right to “1” so that it appears first in the list next to editable items
    edit column
  5. Click “OK”

Repeat for each view on which you’d like this feature.

On Document Libraries, the edit icon allows you to edit metadata/columns for the document properties, not the document itself. You’ll still need to click the document name to edit the document itself.
edit icons

Launching Forms in a Dialog

Consider also modifying list/library settings –> advanced settings to have forms launch in a dialog upon clicking the icon. This would work with the edit icon so that clicking it doesn’t navigate away from the page but instead opens a pop-up modal dialog on top of the list itself.
launch in dialog



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