Tips for working in SharePoint document libraries – Part 4

Welcome to Part 4 of our tips for working in SharePoint document libraries. Part 3 discussed the benefits of using natural language when naming files saved in document libraries. Today we’re going to cover off on the ellipsis and we’ll show you an easy way to attach a document from SharePoint to an email.

The document library user interface shows the file type, document name and any other metadata columns that the administrator has exposed when setting up the library. Next to the document’s file name is an ellipsis.


The ellipsis

This will open another menu of options for the user. What you see here will depend on your permissions, but ultimately this menu allows you to:

  • View or edit the document’s properties
    (things like the document name and assigned metadata)
  • View or edit your document in the browser
    (quickly view or edit a document without opening the desktop application)
  • Check a document out of the library
    (locks down editing capability so that only you can modify it while it is checked out)
  • Check the version history of the document
    (SharePoint enables controls around versioning and the ability to roll back to previous versions)
  • Download a copy of the document
    (save to local hard drive for attaching to email or moving to another location)
  • Follow the document
    (a handy way of keeping track of documents you’re interested in)
  • Delete a document
    (sends document to the SharePoint Recycle Bin)

Share functionality

This functionality depends entirely on the site settings in central admin and also your permission level on the site, but it is possible to share documents with external users by sending them a guest link that can provide either editing permission or read only access. Anyone with this link can view the document, so it’s not advisable to use for any sort of sensitive information.

In our last post, we discussed issues with attaching files to emails. However, sometimes this is necessary particularly if sending documents outside of the organisation. You may not have permission or the site may not be configured for sharing with external users. But it can be cumbersome to download a file to the desktop, then attach it to an email. Thankfully, SharePoint makes it easy.

Drag and Drop from SharePoint to email

With your draft email message in progress and open in the background, click and hold on the file icon of the document you wish to attach.


Without releasing, drag the cursor to the body of the email and release. A copy of the document will be attached to the email. This is easier to do if you have dual monitors, with SharePoint open on one and your email open on the other. If working with a single display, drag the cursor down and hover over the Outlook icon in your taskbar until the preview of your email appears. Still without releasing, move the cursor over the email preview until your email is in view. Then move the cursor to the body of the email and release.

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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