SharePoint document library - purpose of the Title column RRS feed

  • Question

  • I understand that SharePoint 2007 indexes the "Title" metadata of a word document but what I don't understand is why is there also a column called "Title" within the document library? What is its purpose?

    The issue is that we're asking people to specify the title of documents via the "info" option in word. When the upload the document they are asked again to specifiy the title, I'm tempted to hide the title column from the upload screen but I'm not sure if this is good practice.


    • Edited by Imran Azad Friday, November 2, 2012 1:51 PM
    Thursday, November 1, 2012 4:07 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    The Title column is important in a list because it’s the default single click column to display the list view form. It’s also the column that displays the link to the item with the edit menu.

    When you create a SharePoint list, such as Tasks or Announcements, a Title column is created by default.  Apparently, there is no easy way to either designate a specific column to be a Title column when you create a list, or change a Title column to another column after the list is created. Sometimes this can be bothersome, because the list seems to have a mind of it’s own as to which column gets “awarded the Title” depending on the type of list you create, whether you import or export data from Microsoft Excel to create the list, or link the list from Microsoft Access.

     Usually, you want to use a field with unique values, such as a key or ID field, as the Title column. If you ever want to change the Title field to another more appropriate column, here’s a workaround using Microsoft Excel. When you export an Excel Table from Excel to a SharePoint site, Excel uses the first column as the Title field by default. Basically, the following steps show how to: create a new list based on the old list, move the new Title column to the first column, archive the old list, and rename the new list.

    Sekar - Our life is short, so help others to grow

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    Thursday, November 1, 2012 6:50 PM
  • Hi Sek,

    Thanks for your response, indeed the Title column is important in a list but I'm referring to a document library. In a document library the "Name" column is used to display the item it is linked to.

    Friday, November 2, 2012 1:26 PM
  • Hi Imran,

    Please try making the 'Title' Column in the document library - 'Not Required' from the document library settings page.

    You can also hide the 'Title' column. Check this link http://www.dlocc.com/articles/how-to-remove-title-column-from-sharepoint-list/

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 8:12 AM
  • I think you may find the following link useful as it shows clearly the differences between the "Name" and "Title" column in a document library.


    My personal thought is that the name of a document should be something shorter whereas the Title of the document can be more descriptive (doesn't mean you'll write a paragraph :-)

    For example, let's say you have a document that contains step-by-step guide on certain process. In that case, I'd select the name of the document as "userGuideABC.docx" and the title could be "Process/Guide for using product ABC".

    This could be a matter of personal preference too, but that's what I try to stick with and try to advise my users to follow the same steps. In most cases, users are too used to using Windows Explorer in their computer and name their document like the title column, which is okay but SharePoint library is not Windows Explorer. It has a lot more to offer and you just have to take advantage of it.

    Now, how to hide the title column is a matter of different discussion :-). Hope that helps. Good luck!!


    Thursday, January 10, 2013 1:29 AM
  • Hi,

    Typically the Title is not needed on documents that is why its optional on the document content type.  Whenever, we create Content Types that inherit from the Document Content Type we always set the Title to Hidden as the document name is the most important aspect of the document list item.

    A lot of clients request that we hide it for Documents so you just go to the Document Content Type and set the Title to hidden. Every once in a while a client will ask for it to be required, then after a few months change their mind. we typically hide it, unless its necessary for us to use.


    Ivan Sanders My LinkedIn Profile, My Blog, @iasanders.

    Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:54 AM
  • Ivan,

    Does this practice not negatively affect search results?


    Friday, January 18, 2013 6:31 PM
  • Hi Neil,

    I am not sure that it would in any meaningful way, it depends a lot on company culture. I am more concerned with consistency. It seems that folks re-use document format and one document is the base document for several others, if folks are careless then the Title of the document doesn't change though the content and name has been modified and when folks search on the original name they may find un relevant information? If there is a reason to use "Title" then by all means you should. I am not saying don't use Title but use it where it makes sense, personally I always use Title on all published documents whether SharePoint provides a way to enter the information or not, I use the document properties... I would prefer if everyone used more metadata, not less, but relevant data that provides additional information...


    Ivan Sanders My LinkedIn Profile, My Blog, @iasanders, Business Intelligence in SharePoint 2013.

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013 11:42 PM