Sharepoint 2013 - Lists & Libraries

Today we will look more in-depth at Lists and Libraries in Sharepoint, and also carrying on from the previous post, how content types aid in building lists.

Content Types and Lists

A list is made up of columns - site columns which can be shared among all list in the site, and list columns which are specific to that list only. Content types are made up of site columns, which can be imported into lists. This saves the user from selecting site columns one by one. When there are hundreds of lists using roughly the same columns, importing content types can save a lot of time and effort.

Columns in Lists

When we import a column as part of a site column or content type, the actual column gets copied into the list. This means that if a change to the column is made at the list-level, then this would not affect the site column and content type, and other lists which uses the same columns will not be affected.

On the other hand, if a site column or content type is updated, then an option is available for all lists which incorporates the site column or content type to be updated. If this option is chosen, any changes made to the column at list-level will be overidden.


A library is a special instance of a list where every list item is, and only is, a file. This means every item in a library is an uploaded file and nothing more. This is unlike a typical list, which can contain data that fits into different columns.

There are different types of Libraries - document libraries, form libraries (which holds Microsoft InfoPath forms), asset libraries (images, audio, videos), slide library (PowerPoint slides) and picture libraries (images).

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