Learn how to add "choice" data type columns to a SharePoint list. Adding columns to your list lets you to make space to collect the information you need. One of the most useful types of data you can collect are pre-defined choices.
- [Instructor] So, I'm not going to give you a full tutorial on creating lists in SharePoint. My assumption is that you're already somewhat familiar with it. If that's not the case, my recommendation is that you check out some of the other courses online like SharePoint Online Essentials and pay special attention to the sections on creating lists. However, I do want to show you how to add more columns to this list. So let's go and take a look at the list settings page, okay? So in list settings page, here are all of the fields that are in the list.
All of these different things. Notice that they're sorted alphabetically rather than the order displayed. That can be a little annoying, but as long as you know the name of what you're looking for, you'll be okay. And you can see what types of data is contained in the columns too. Text, date, number, those are all pretty much what they say they are. I want to focus for a moment on choice columns. So let's say you realize that there was something else you should have been capturing.
Some other data like the example I gave earlier where the sales manager wanted to know how many rubber chickens were sold. And how can you add that into your data. Well, we'll start by clicking Create a Column. And we'll go down here and we will create a new column. Now in the new column dialog, first we need to name the column, and an easy choice here will be Product Type because that's what we're doing. I always like to name things as close to what they really are as possible.
It makes it so much easier. Now we need to specify what type of data we're going to collect. Now we can do a single and a text, but that allows for free form. Most of the other options don't make that much sense. The clear winner here is choice. So we're going to click choice. When we select that, the screen refreshes to reflect the setup properties. Now here's an important selection. Is the data required? Yes or no. Do you have to have information in there? Now I've already touched on this, but you can pretty much bet that the answer here is going to be yes.
And if so, people will not be able to enter records into the list without providing this information. Requiring data guarantees that our information stays complete and standard. Without that, our metadata collection will be seriously hampered. However, we don't want unique data. Now that's probably because more than one person will be buying a given item, right. And if we had unique values, each item could only be used one time.
So we don't want that. Now let's list out the product types as choices. So let's see, we know about rubber chickens because we were talking about those earlier. And enter. And let's say whoopee cushion and squirting flower. Hmm, I wonder what kind of stuff this company sells. Pepper gum and hand buzzer. Okay, great. Now, you've got options about how you want your users selecting the value for this field on the single item input form.
Do you want a dropdown menu or radio buttons where you just click one thing? You can also do check boxes, but that allows for multiple selections. And since we're going to stick to a one to one universe in this example, that's not pertinent. So how would you choose between a dropdown or a radio button? Well I'll give you my personal rule. I think radio buttons are the most user friendly way of offering up a selection, but only up to about five or six items. After that it starts looking cluttered and I would use a dropdown instead.
This one, we've got five so I'm going to say radio buttons. Now here's one that you really need to think about for a moment. Whether you allow people to write in an other. Now sometimes this makes sense. When I created this list, I allowed fill-ins in a few places like client name. My logic is that there might be new clients at any time. So I want to have the ability to add new ones on the fly rather than having to go in and edit the list properties to add new customers. But this might not make sense.
Maybe you want to enforce standardization a little more strictly. In that case, no is the appropriate response. You're going to have to have to make the determination based on your needs. I'm going to leave it no for me right now. You also have the option to have a default value added automatically. Now sometimes this makes sense. For instance, in the terms column since the standard is 60 days, I put that in as a default. But there is the ability to override as necessary.
For choices, I typically do not want a default value. So I'll go so far as to remove anything that might be displayed there. It forces your users to make an active selection in this column which is I think what you want. And when we're all done here, we scroll down to the bottom and we click Okay. Now back on our list, we've now got this field down here at the end, and by the way don't worry, we can change where it's displayed later. We're editing the list in the spreadsheet mode and here are our choices all made for us.
You can now go down the list and add values for all the line items at once.
- What is metadata?
- Common SharePoint challenges
- Using metadata in SharePoint
- Calculating columns in lists
- Adjusting list permissions
- Using version control
- Creating multiple views
- Filtering view results
- Integrating with other Office apps