SharePoint: Creating/Managing a Documentation Library


This article provides a comprehensive overview of how to use libraries in SharePoint.


Intro to libraries

A library is a location on a site where you can upload, create, update, and collaborate on files with team members. Each library displays a list of files and key information about the files. Team sites include a documents library where you can organize and share your documents.

Document libraries

Note: The most common type of library is a document library. This article pertains to managing document libraries.

Creating a Document Library

  1. Go to the team site where you want to create a new document library.
  2. On the menu bar, click New and then click Document library.


Document Library

  1. For other types of libraries, click App, and choose the library you want to create.
  2. In the Create document library pane, type a name for the new document library and, add an optional description. If you want to add a link to the new document library in the left-hand navigation for the site, select Show in site navigation. This option is selected by default.


Create Document Library Pane

  1. Click Create to create your new document library or click Cancel to return to the team site.

Need Help? For more information see, Next steps with your document library.

Storing documents in a single library

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

  1. Your 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.
  2. People want to search for the files in the same location on a site.
  3. You want to apply the same settings to files, such as tracking versions of files or requiring approval.
  4. The groups that are working with the library share similar characteristics, such as the same levels of permission.
  5. 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, you can organize files 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 you want to store and manage, or among the groups of people who work with the files. Use multiple libraries when:
  • The types of files that you want to store and manage 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.
  • You need to apply different settings, such as versioning or approval, to different sets of files.
  • You don’t need to analyze the files together or receive consolidated updates about the files.
  • You want to provide different sets of options for creating new files, or you want the options of the New menu of a library to appear in a different order.

Managing document libraries

Set up site templates and columns

If your organization wants to establish some consistent settings across its libraries, it can set up site templates and site columns. You can share the settings across multiple libraries so that you don't have to recreate the settings each time.

Send files to another location

If you want a file to be available in multiple libraries, you can store it in one library, and then send a copy to other libraries. You can choose to be reminded to update any copies of the document when you make changes to the original.

Create library templates

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

Using columns, views, and folders together

All three approaches can work together. The same columns you use 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.

Creating a View

  1. Go to List settings
  2. Change other settings for your view, such as Sort and Filter, and then click OK at the bottom of the page.
  3. In the Columns section, select the columns that you want in the view and clear the columns that you don’t want to appear. Next to the column numbers, select the order that you want to columns to appear in the view.
  4. Note: If Create a Public View is disabled, you don’t have Design permission level or higher.
  5. In the Audience section, under View Audience, select Create a Personal view or Create a Public view. Create a personal view when you want a view just for yourself. Create a public view when you want everyone who uses the list to see it.
  6. Select Make this the default view if you want to make this the default view for the list. Only a public view can be the default view.
  7. In the View Name box, type the name for your view.
  8. Important: Once you choose a view type, you cannot change it, but you can create another view with a different view type. For more information, see View types you can choose.
  9. On the View Type page, choose a view type, which opens the Create View page for that view type. The most common view type is Standard View which displays your list items one row following another. Standard View is the default for most types of lists.
  10. At the bottom of the Settings page, click Create view.

Setting up Document Library Folders for Upload-Only Access

Note: You will need to be an owner of the site to do this.

  1. On your SharePoint Site, click on the upper right cogwheel and choose Site Permissions
  2. Click Advanced Site Permissions.
  3. On the upper bar, choose Permission Levels
  4. Click Add a Permission Level
  5. Give the new permission level an identifiable and unique name, and give it the following permissions:
    1. List Permissions - Add Items, View Items
    2. Site Permissions - View Pages, Open
  6. Click Create at the bottom.
  7. Navigate to the Document Library in question, or create a new one following steps in this article.
  8. Once at your Document Library, click the cogwheel in the upper right and choose Library Settings
  9. In Library Settings, choose Permissions for this Document Library
  10. In the upper bar, click Stop inheriting permissions
  11. Select both Viewers and Members using the check box, then click Remove User Permissions
  12. Navigate back to your Document Library, and create a new folder using the New button. Give the folder a unique and identifiable name.
  13. Hover over the newly created folder, and click the Three Vertical Buttons. Choose Manage Access.
  14. Inside of this permission screen, click Stop Inheriting Permissions
  15. Click Grant Permissions
  16. In the Grant Permissions window, add the user. You can search by email, username, or display name (Last, First).
  17. Once you have selected the user, click Show Options.
  18. Under Select a Permission Level, choose your permission level created before. Choose to either send an email or not, then click Share.
  19. Navigate back to the document library.
  20. Hover over the newly created folder, and click the Three Vertical Buttons. Choose Copy Link.
  21. Make sure that the link is set to "People with existing access". Copy and share the link with the users.
  22. Repeat these steps for different folders to have different users able to upload to separate folders.

Need additional help?

Please fill out the Microsoft 365 Support webform with as much detail as possible, or contact the ET&S Help Desk team on your local campus


Article ID: 1667
Fri 7/19/19 6:15 PM
Fri 4/15/22 4:43 PM
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