Add a shortcut to a SharePoint document stored in a different document library (classic)

Note: Does not apply to SharePoint Online/O365 modern experiences. Only applies to classic experiences and SharePoint Server/on-prem.

In modern experiences, SharePoint allows convenient addition of links to documents stored outside the current library. However, on-prem and classic experiences are a bit different. Basically, we have to permit the “link to document” content type in the library first.

Allow shortcuts to documents

1. Go to Library > Library Settings

2. Choose Advanced settings

3. Set Allow management of content types to Yes.

4. Click OK to save changes.

5. Under Content Types choose Add from existing site content types

6. Select Link to a Document and Add >.

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7. Click OK.

Test the new option

Now, back in your document library, your New button will have the Link to a Document option available.

Once selected, you’ll enter a name for the shortcut (can be different from the document’s actual name) and its URL.

Voila! Insta-link to documents stored elsewhere.

Add a shortcut to a SharePoint document stored in a different document library (modern)

Note: Applies to SharePoint Online/O365 and modern experiences only.

In SharePoint Server/on-prem, we have to manage content types and allow links to documents before we can link to documents outside the current document library. But in SharePoint Online/O365, there’s a Link option on the New menu that does all the work for us, and without even needing to adjust the library’s content type settings.

Modern experience in SharePoint Online/O365

In a modern-view document library, simply use New > Link.

Then paste a URL to the file, or select it from recent files which, yes, will include files modified even outside the current library.

This will add a link/shortcut within your document library to the document stored/managed elsewhere.

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Classic experience

Check out my post on how to accomplish something similar in classic and on-prem experiences.

Solution: SharePoint document library links/shortcuts to other documents go to a blank .aspx page

Today I ran across an issue where someone had created links within a classic document library that redirected users to documents stored in a different library. This is easy to do, but for some reason those links were now leading users to blank .aspx pages instead of the intended document.

Note that users weren’t taken to an “invalid” or “can’t be found” error page, but a completely blank page with a URL ending in .aspx. If you’re being redirected to anything other than a blank page the following solution probably won’t apply to you.

I figured out that, somehow, the library in question no longer had the “Link to a document” content type included. You normally can’t delete a content type that is in use, but with the right permissions and perhaps a migration tool or script, anything is possible. Without the content type on the library, the links that once worked under that content type now could not.

Important: The links are not necessarily broken – do not delete them. Once the content type is added again, they should work unless the original URLs have actually changed.

To re-add the link/shortcut content type to the library, follow these directions (same as if you were adding it for the first time):

1. Go to Library > Library Settings

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2. Choose Advanced settings

3. Set Allow management of content types to Yes.

4. Click OK to save changes.

5. Under Content Types choose Add from existing site content types

6. Select Link to a Document and Add >.

Click to enlarge

7. Click OK.

Now check your links, and they should work!

The “New item” menu in modern SharePoint document libraries now allows adding templates

I happily stumbled across an update to modern document libraries I hadn’t noticed before. The modern document library “new item” menu now includes an option to “Edit New Menu” which pulls up this pane in-context:

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And also includes the ability to upload a new template directly from the menu, rather than through content type settings.

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Any new templates added via this method will use the default content type for that library, but provides a way to have multiple templates for a single content type.

5 ways you can use SharePoint list and library view settings to improve the user experience

SharePoint has many out-of-the-box (OOTB) ways to improve the way data is displayed in lists and libraries. Many of these can alleviate headache your users experience when adapting to a new way of working with their abundance of ever-growing information. Let’s check out a few things you can do right now, in less than five minutes:

  1. Prevent horizontal scrolling by carefully selecting displayed columns
  2. Sort items appropriately
  3. Filter to relevant info per view
  4. Group items into logical “buckets”
  5. Adjust item limits

Continue reading “5 ways you can use SharePoint list and library view settings to improve the user experience”

10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives: Part 2

Asset 1mazeThis post is a continuation of 10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives.

See part one for information about:

  1. Version history
  2. Approvals/Administration
  3. Check-in/Check-out
  4. Co-editing
  5. Archiving & retention

And below for information about:

  1. Sharing and security
  2. Remote access
  3. Metadata and views
  4. Workflows & alerts
  5. Sync & export

Continue reading “10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives: Part 2”

10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives: Part 1

Asset 1mazeYou know that one file, right? The one named “Agenda.docx” in the folder called “November” in the “2008” folder in another folder called “DO NOT Delete” in the “Archive” folder of the “Retired Committees” folder?

Me either. And chances are you don’t need it anymore. But managing team/department documents on traditional shared drives has challenges like this all the time, with management, retention, content ownership, etc. SharePoint, however, can greatly assist in keeping your content current, relevant and organized.

Of course making the switch from shared, common network drives to SharePoint can be intimidating. But the benefits of doing so are well worth the effort to make your team work more efficiently. This post will highlight 10 features in SharePoint you can’t necessarily get from shared network drives:

Part One:

  1. Version history
  2. Approvals/Administration
  3. Check-in/Check-out
  4. Co-editing
  5. Archiving & retention

Part Two:

  1. Sharing and security
  2. Remote access
  3. Metadata and views
  4. Workflows & alerts
  5. Sync & export

Continue reading “10 reasons putting team/department documents in SharePoint is better than shared drives: Part 1”

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

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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.

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

Convert SharePoint documents to PDF using Microsoft Flow

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Edited Dec 10, 2018 to include “for a selected item” function in modern sites.

Can you convert SharePoint documents to PDF without leaving SharePoint? Heck, yeah!

Basically we’ll create this flow:

  1. “When a file is created or modified” in SP -OR- “For a selected item”
  2. Create document in OneDrive for Business -OR- OneDrive
  3. Convert document (OneDrive action in Flow)
  4. Create document in SP

It’s a bit of a hack but we get exactly the result often requested: convert SharePoint docs to PDF automatically. Here’s how to set this up. A video walkthrough using the “created/modified” trigger is available at the bottom of this post.

Continue reading “Convert SharePoint documents to PDF using Microsoft Flow”

SharePoint workflow that creates a document based on a template

Outcome:

process

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Intro:

Look at that workflow above – have you ever seen something so beautifully simple? I’m excited to share several solutions with you in this one post. This post should cover the following:

  1. Working with content types
  2. Creating a template for each content type capable of having merge fields
  3. Finding a way to merge list item info into a new document via workflow
  4. And if you’re super ambitious, expanding the workflow just a bit with an if/then statement to use different templates based on conditions in your list

But because this is a massive topic and could be tailored an infinite number of ways, I encourage you to comment or tweet me for additional guidance more specific to your scenario. So here we go!

Continue reading “SharePoint workflow that creates a document based on a template”