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Every time you look at the contents of a SharePoint list, you're really looking at a view of that List, a special filtered perspective. Because the list information itself is stored in rather ugly database tables on the SharePoint Server and this is not what we want to see. If I have calendar data for example, I don't want to see a big spreadsheet-looking thing. I want to go and see a calendar and indeed the Calendar list has a default view that looks like a calendar. It's filtering the data, meaning that there's a lot more entries than I can see here, but a) I just want to see this month and b) I just want to see some basic information.
Most of these individual calendar appointments, if I click on them and decide to edit that event, will tell me more information. It might have some notes. It's got a location. It's got a category, but when I'm looking at the default Calendar view, I see none of that. I just see the summary. I see the useful information there, because we're looking at a filtered view of this information. So every list in SharePoint has a default view. The Calendar one just happens to look like a calendar. Now, when I'm browsing this and I don't have the Ribbon active, if you've wondered why you see this phrase Calendar-Calendar here, it's really because what it's trying to tell us is I'm looking at the Calendar view of the Calendar list in this team site and indeed this View section can actually be changed.
I can click the drop-down arrow and change from the Calendar View to the All Events View, where I see a much more straightforward perspective of this, might be useful might not be useful. Clicking back to the Calendar View, we switch back to the more conventional look of it. If I go and take a look at my Tasks list for example, well, it wouldn't make sense here to see a calendar, so the default view that I'm seeing is All Tasks. So I'm in the All Tasks View of the Tasks list of this team site.
This has multiple views here. I've got All Tasks, just My Tasks, I've got Due Today, there's nothing in that one, Active Tasks and so on. As a Task list begins to grow, you'll find that there'll be a lot of pieces of information that just won't be relevant any more, particularly all your completed tasks. You don't want to get rid of them, but you don't want them cluttering up your View when you're taking a look at them. So when we're in a list, simply by looking at this drop-down we can switch views and we can even change the Views or create our own views.
Views are not just used to filter the data as in show me My Tasks or show me All Tasks, but they're also used where you can choose the columns that you're going to see. Do I want to see due date or percent complete or don't I? That's up to you. That's part of your view. If for example, I wanted to change the All Tasks View so that I didn't see priority, it'll be quite easy, I could click on this option, come down to the phrase Modify this view. This takes me into the Edit View page, where I could even change the name of the view and here's where I get to choose the columns that are being displayed.
I could decide to uncheck Priority. if I wanted to I could see all the other columns that this list has that I'm not actually using. Then I have choices about how I'm sorting and how I'm filtering-- and I'll show this in a moment. We'll create a custom view. There's actually a lot of things you can do either by changing or creating your own views. So just by making that simple change I don't have the Priority column showing up in this view anymore. But what if I wanted to create my own view? Well, that's very easy as well.
If I look at the drop-down, well, there are quite a few views that have been created by Microsoft for the Task list, but maybe not all the ones that I want. We have All Tasks, My Tasks, Due Today. Maybe I want to see a View that just shows Overdue Tasks. All I'm going to say create a view. The next page asks me what kind of view is this. It doesn't exactly know what I want to do here, and here is where I could choose to do things like have a Calendar View, if that made sense. It doesn't really. Most of the time you're going to pick the Standard View.
The other views are fairly specialized. Going to select that one. It's going to ask me to give it a view name. I'll say Overdue Tasks. I could even have the option here to make this the default view, which will be what you'd see every time you clicked at the Task list, and then choose which columns are being shown. Let's say if it's just overdue Ttasks, I'm not really interested in seeing if there are attachments or not or any kind of icons. I'm interested in the title, who it's assigned to, what the due date was and the percent complete. That'll do.
I could choose to sort, and I'm going to say by Due Date, so the earlier ones will show up at the top of the list. Then in the filtering section, do I want to see all items of this list? No, I certainly don't. I only want to show items when the following is true. So I'll select this radio button. I want the column Due Date to be less than Today. So where Due Date is less than today, and this little shortcut you can put for using today, which is the square bracket and the word Today.
This is not some huge and pseudo-programming language here. There are just a few simple things you can put in. If you notice over here on the left, it even suggests the most common things. To filter on a column based on the current date or the current user of the site, type either Today or Me in square brackets as the column value. That's fine, so, we want to see when the Due Date is less than today, but we also want to make sure that this task is not completed. Because if it was a task was completed it's not overdue. So I'm going to say And When this column of Status is not equal to Completed.
And that looks good. If I was expecting a lot of information there, so if I had to manage dozens or even hundreds of overdue tasks, I might also decide to group by perhaps the Assigned To person to show me each individual person's overdue tasks, but I don't need to do that. So I'm going to come down ignore all the rest of things and click OK, and it looks like we only actually have one overdue task, which wasn't assigned to anybody in particular, hasn't been started and it was due on the 19th of May.
Again I could switch back between that and the All Tasks View. So very easy to create new views in SharePoint, very easy to modify existing views, but when you're looking at a list, you're always looking at a view and it's your choice about how useful you want that view to be to you.
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