How to Arrange Folders in a Document Library RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am very new to sharepoint and don't have any programming background.  I have been tasked with developing a document library to store some procedures.  I have the procedures arranged by the folder level - the first level of folders is the stage of the project the procedures apply to, the 2nd level of folders are the activity the procedures apply to.  Within each of the 2nd level folders are all the actual procedures and supporting documents (worksheets etc).  I have been asked to add tags to the folders in the second level so that I can identify/sort each activity as primary, secondary, reference.  I can add a tag like this at a file level, but can't get it to add at a folder level.  Is there any way to do this?  (My boss would rather be able to view all the activity folders at once and see/sort with the folder tag, then add another set of folders to seperate them in each stages' folder.
    • Moved by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, April 16, 2010 3:03 PM You've posted by mistake to the customizing forum. It's not for how to use SP - moving to General which is for suggestions on using SP etc. (From:SharePoint - Design and Customization (pre-SharePoint 2010))
    Friday, April 16, 2010 2:45 PM


All replies

  • Have you tried creating a content type for "folder"?

    check here for a guide:


    Daniel Bugday

    Web: SharePoint Forum Blog: SharePoint By Bugday

    • Edited by Daniel Bugday Friday, April 16, 2010 3:15 PM added links
    • Marked as answer by DanLLee Monday, April 19, 2010 7:34 PM
    Friday, April 16, 2010 3:13 PM
  • 1) Folders are for shared drives and are a very old-school method of organizing data.  They are very inflexible.

    2) SharePoint's whole purpose is to not use folders but rather use metadata...the tagging you are talking about.

    3) If you FIRST create the columns in your doc lib that you want to use for tagging, including the names of those folders as dropdown selections in 2 separate columns, then you will be able to make this an extremely robust interface.

    4) After doing #3, then you can group the first level by the names of the folders at your top level, and you can group the 2nd level according to the names of the 2nd-level folders.  After that, all documents will be organized just like your folders, but they will exist at one level for all sorts of slicing and dicing as well as the ability to create multiple views with pre-set filters and sorting as well as the proper columns you want to see.

    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    • Proposed as answer by Mike Oryszak Friday, April 16, 2010 3:47 PM
    • Marked as answer by Mike Walsh FIN Friday, April 16, 2010 5:11 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by DanLLee Monday, April 19, 2010 7:34 PM
    Friday, April 16, 2010 3:19 PM
  • Thanks a lot.  That is exactly what I needed to do.  Worked perfect.
    Friday, April 16, 2010 7:27 PM
  • Oops, I was given the answer, but is that really what you wanted to do instead of avoiding folders altogether?  Let us know, and if so, please mark Daniel's post as the answer.  I still highly recommend avoiding folders altogether if you can...
    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Friday, April 16, 2010 7:31 PM
  • Clayton,

    I think I understand what you are proposing and see how that would have been more flexible/better to have done from the start.  I already had the site I was working on made with folders and populated with files, etc.  Rather then restart from scratch, it was much easier for me to follow the Method Daniel suggested.  The more I work with Sharepoint (or discuss with people who are familiar with it), the more I realize I could have done my site better/easier. 

    Thanks for your replies.

    Monday, April 19, 2010 7:38 PM
  • I would still have recommended starting over, because it takes very little time to move files around using Windows Explorer, and assigning metadata to everything is also very quick when using datasheet view.  If you don't change it now, then you'll end up with this unmanageable folder structure that will eventually hit the hard URL characters limit of 255.  If the folders still work better for you in the long run, then at least you're in a better place thanks to Daniel's help.

    SharePoint Architect || Microsoft MVP || My Blog
    Monday, April 19, 2010 7:45 PM
  • I also suggest you look into Clayton's suggestion as that is "the right" way of doing things in SharePoint.

    The folder approach is an "old" thinking style but it will probably do the work for you right now :)

    SharePoint 2007 has some perforrmance issues on the "number of items" in lists/libraries/folders and items per view.

    Good luck and let us know if you need any further help!


    Daniel Bugday

    Web: SharePoint Forum Blog: SharePoint By Bugday

    Monday, April 19, 2010 10:07 PM
  • Some users are more comfortable with folders than with navigating a +/- hierarchy. The hierarchy organized by metadata is "just like" folders for us tech types, but it is not "just like folders" for end-users. 

    I just spent a couple days reorganizing a big library of documents into neat metadata with custom views. My elegant, "proper" solution was wasted effort because my customer missed the folder visuals.

    Monday, January 28, 2013 9:52 PM