SharePoint Fest Denver: Content Types 101 – Easier Than the Theory of Relativity

Armed with candy and snacks for the “good students”, Solution Architect Tamara Bredemus kicked off day two’s break-out sessions with a discussion of content types.

Starting with the basics, What is a SharePoint Content Type?  Generally speaking, the content varies based on the organization. It can be anything you need to list, search, or store – ranging from a word document to contractual language to templates. Content types have many benefits including:

  • Managing multiple types of content from one location
  • Reducing the number of fields presented to the user
  • Using multiple templates in a document library
  • Using Web Parts to rollup data
  • Quickly creating lists and libraries
  • Changing the content type and pushing changes down
  • Making it easier to find things later

Lucky for me – and other non-techies in the room – Tamara used graphics and a table to illustrate the process. She opted to sort or categorize, items stored on a bookshelf. That shelf included books, movies, and music that she wanted to sort author, subject, rating, pages, time, and publication date.

And just like that, we created content types. There are five steps to creating content types:

  • Step 1: Plan
    • We’ve decided on types of entertainment
  • Step 2: Create site columns
    • The columns are the “categories” to classify each type of entertainment
  • Step 3: Create content types
    • In this example, the content types are books, movies, and music
  • Step 4: Add site columns
    • Input the actual “types” and “categories”
  • Step 5: Add content types
    • Each “X” marks the columns that correlate with the types of entertainment

Tamara then jumped into demo mode; it was time to make this thing real and put everything into SharePoint.

To create a site content type, follow these simple steps.

    1. Go to your site to add the new site content type.
    2. Under Settings, click Site Settings.
    3. In the Galleries column, click Site content types.
    4. Click Create to create your new content type.
    5. Type a Name for the new site content type.
    6. Type a Description that describes the purpose of the content type.
    7. Next, Select parent content type from the list.
    8. In the Parent Content Type list, select the parent content type that you want to base your content type on.
    9. In the Group section, select the radio button to indicate whether the new site content type is in an existing group or a new group.
    10. Click OK.

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