Tips for working in SharePoint document libraries – Part 1

When a company decides to move away from a file server environment in favour of SharePoint for document management, it creates a lot of change for users. Similarly, if you’ve just started working at a new company that has SharePoint and your last employer didn’t, it can be quite daunting figuring out how to work with the files you need.

If you’ve never worked in SharePoint document libraries before, it’s a big shift in mindset from file server land to document library land. This shift is sometimes underestimated and users can be left in the dark when training favours more complex business improvement initiatives or extends no further than “here’s the intranet homepage, happy navigating.”

Over the next few articles, we’re going to explore some simple tips that can make working with your documents a lot easier. (Note that libraries come in a few flavours; document, picture and even form libraries, but the basic principles are fairly universal across all libraries in SharePoint).

Our tips include:

We’ll go over each of these in more detail as this article series progresses. Here goes!

Get to know the Ribbon

Just like in Word or Excel, the SharePoint ribbon is the interface that contains the controls for the library you are working in. What you can see here will differ when you are working with a SharePoint page or list, or other SharePoint application. It will also depend on your permission level on the site; SharePoint administrators have more functions available to them in the ribbon than a user with read only permission for example.



The ribbon is where you’ll go when you need to edit the library itself (typically an administrator’s job), interact with the functionality of the library or edit properties of documents within the library.

Our number one tip is get to know the ribbon! Learn about the controls available here. The more familiar you are with the ribbon, the greater power you’ll have as a user in SharePoint. Find out more about navigating the ribbon command interface.

This article was written using SharePoint Online via Office 365 to demonstrate the current features of SharePoint document libraries. If you’d like to explore how you can improve user adoption for an existing SharePoint site, or you’re interested in moving to Office 365 call us today to find out more.

Stay tuned for our next article as we continue our series on working with SharePoint Document Libraries!

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