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Webucator's Free SharePoint 2013 Tutorial

Lesson: SharePoint List Basics

Welcome to our free SharePoint 2013 tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's SharePoint 2013 End User Training course.

Lists are a fundamental building block in SharePoint that provides a way for users to store and view data. SharePoint comes "out of the box" with many predefined list templates that are easy to use. Lists can be further customized by adding columns to store just about any type of information. Additionally, list columns can be validated as well as linked between other lists. Lists are a very flexible and powerful tool in SharePoint.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about List Templates.
  • Learn how to work with default lists in a Team Site.
  • Learn how to create a new list from a List Template.
  • Learn how to create a custom list.
  • Learn how to add columns to a list.
  • Learn how to control and validate input into list fields.
  • Learn how to link data from separate lists.

Creating Apps Using List Templates

In SharePoint 2013, lists are created by creating Apps. The out-of-the-box Apps you can create include both lists and libraries. The primary difference between lists and libraries is that libraries always store a document with each item, such as a Word document or Excel spreadsheet. Libraries will be covered in a separate lesson in this course.

To create a list App you first select a list template as a starting point for your list. List templates define the characteristics of a list when used to create a new list. The characteristics defined by list templates include the column types, views, and forms for editing and viewing list data.

There are many factors that define the list templates available to a site such as the version of SharePoint and the features that have been enabled in the farm, site, and site collection. New list templates can be easily added to a site so the list templates choices can vary between different SharePoint installations and even sites within a single installation.

The following is a list of some of the default list templates available in an out-of-the-box SharePoint team site.

  • Links
  • Announcements
  • Contacts
  • Calendar
  • Discussion Board
  • Promoted Links
  • Tasks
  • Issue Tracking
  • Custom List
  • External List
  • Survey

Creating Lists

Creating Lists Using List Templates

The following walk-through will show you how to create new lists using some of the standard out-of-the-box list templates.

All of the lists in this demonstration are created in the Contoso Home Site.

  1. Create an instance of a Contacts list.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Scroll down the list of Apps templates and locate and click the Contacts template link.Create dialog form
    3. Enter "Contoso Contacts" in the Name field and click the Create button.Contacts template description

      Naming Conventions: Many website administrators feel strongly about not using spaces when naming a list, library, or new site. The reason for this is that the spaces will be replaced with "'%20" characters in the URL. This can make the URL difficult to read and links can become convoluted. The title of the list, library, or site can always be changed after they are created using the properties pages that will be covered in a later part of this course. This will change what is displayed but not affect the URL. For simplicity and readability, the exercises and walk-throughs in this course often include the space in the name and accept the fact that the URL will have the "%20" replacement characters.

    4. Note that Contoso Contacts are now displayed in the Quick Launch menu under the Recent heading as well as listed on the Site Contents page. Site contents page
  2. Add a permanent link to Contoso Contacts in the Quick Launch menu.
    1. Click the Contoso Contacts link under the Recent heading in the Quick Launch menu.
    2. Click the List tab to navigate to the List Toolbar. List tab toolbar.
    3. Click the List Settings link button on the List tab toolbar. List tab toolbar.
    4. Click the List name, description and navigation link on the list settings page. List settings page.
    5. Click the Yes radio button to add Contoso Contacts to the site's Quick Launch menu and click the Save button. List general settings page.

      The Name field is where you would change the name of the list or library without affecting the URL.

    6. Note that Contoso Contacts now shows on the site's Quick Launch menu as a root-level item. Site Quick Launch menu.
  3. Create a new contact item in the Contoso Contacts list.
    1. Click the Contoso Contacts link in the Quick Launch menu.
    2. Click the new item link within the Contoso Contacts list.Add new item link
    3. In the Contoso Contacts - New Item form, use the following table to fill in the fields and click the Save button. Note that only the Last Name field is required.
      Field Data
      Last Name Simpson
      First Name Marge
      Full Name Marge Simpson
      E-mail Address Marge@Contoso.com
      Company Contoso
  4. Create an instance of a Discussion Board list.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Scroll down the list of Apps templates and locate and click the Discussion Board template link.Create dialog form
    3. Enter "Contoso Discussion" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
    4. Note that you could optionally add Contoso Discussion as a permanent link in the Quick Launch menu as you did with Contoso Contacts.
  5. Create a new discussion in the Contoso Discussion list.
    1. Click the Contoso Discussion link in the Quick Launch menu and click the new discussion link in the main view of the list.Discussion add new link
    2. In the new discussion form, enter "SharePoint 2013 Features" for the Subject field.
    3. Click inside the Body field. Note that the discussion form now has a toolbar at the top with two tabs Format Text and Insert.Editing Tools toolbar
    4. Inside the Body field type the following text:

      Among the many SharePoint 2013 features the following are some of my favorites:

      Branding

      Mobile devices

      Search

      Web content management

    5. Highlight the list text Toolbars, Silverlight Integration, Dialog forms, and Column validation and then click the Numbering icon on the Editing Tools Format Text tab toolbar. Discussion Item form

      Note the Question check box. When this is checked, it is used as a filter for an Unanswered Questions view. Views will be covered in a later part of this course.

    6. Click the Save button to save it to the list.
  6. Read and reply to the new discussion in the Contoso Discussion board.
    1. Click the new discussion subject SharePoint 2010 Features link inside the Contoso Discussion list.Discussion item link
    2. Click the Add a reply text within the text box to create a reply to this post.Discussion reply link

      Normally a different user would be replying to a new discussion item, but this walk-through uses a single account.

    3. Type the following text in the body of the reply text box and click the Reply button: From the list my top favorite is Branding.
    4. Note that the reply dialog form has the same editing toolbar as when you created the new discussion item.
    5. Verify that the reply now displays under the original.Discussion Flat View

List Columns

Creating List Columns

In this walk-through, you will learn to create a new list using the Custom List template and add various list columns to it. Although any SharePoint list can have custom columns added to it, the Custom List template creates a nice clean list to work with.

  1. Create a new list in your Team Site using the Custom List template.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Select the Custom List template from the list of available templates. Apps template list
    3. Enter "Demo List" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
  2. Add a new Single line of text list column to Demo List.
    1. Click the Demo List link in the Quick Launch menu under the Recent group. Quick launch menu
    2. Click the List tab to open the lists toolbar. List tab.
    3. Click the Create Column button link in the List tab toolbar.List tab toolbar

      The Create Column button might not display the text next to the icon if your browser window is not wide enough.

    4. Enter "Favorite Food" in the Column name field and leave the default for The type of information in this column is: option field set to Single line of text.Single line of text create column form
    5. Note the Additional Column Settings region that allows you to set options for this Single line of text list column. Leave the options set to their defaults and click the OK button to complete creating the new list column.Text column options region
  3. Add a new Choice list column to Demo List.
    1. Click the Create Column button link in the List tab toolbar.
    2. Enter "Favorite Color" in the Column name field and change The type of information in this column is: option field to Choice.
    3. In the Additional Column Settings region, type some colors into the field labeled Type each choice on a separate line and change the Display choices using field to Radio Buttons. See the following image for some suggested colors to add: Choice column options

      Note the Display choices using options that include Radio Buttons and Check Boxes. The check boxes allows for multiple choices and the radio buttons provides an alternative display for single selections. The default Drop-Down Menu takes up the least amount of room if the column is included in a view. Views will be covered in a later part of this course.

    4. Click the OK button to complete creating the new list column.
  4. Add a new Date and Time list column to Demo List.
    1. Click the Create Column button link in the List tab toolbar.
    2. Enter "Birthday" in the Column name field and change The type of information in this column is: option field to Date and Time.
    3. In the Additional Column Settings region, change the Require that this column contains information option field to Yes and the Default value option field to Today's Date.Date column options
    4. Click the OK button to complete creating the new list column.
  5. Add a new Person or Group list column to Demo List.
    1. Click the Create Column button link in the List Tools List tab toolbar.
    2. Enter "Who" in the Column name field and change The type of information in this column is: option field to Person or Group.
    3. In the Additional Column Settings region, change the Show field drop-down box to Work e-mail.User or Group column options
    4. Click the OK button to complete creating the new list column.
  6. Create a new custom list and add it as a Lookup list column to Demo List.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Select the Custom List template from the list of available templates. Apps template list
    3. Enter "States" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
    4. Click the States link in the Quick Launch menu to navigate to the list.
    5. Click the Create Column button link in the List tab toolbar.
    6. Enter "Abbreviation" in the Column name field and set the Maximum number of characters text box under Additional Column Settings to "2".
    7. Click the OK button to complete creating the column.
    8. Click the new item link in the States list.
    9. Enter "Florida" in the Title field text box and "FL" in the Abbreviation text box.
    10. Click the Save button to save the new States item.
    11. Repeat the previous steps to create the following States items:States list items
    12. Click the Demo List link in the Quick Launch menu to navigate to the list.Quick Launch
    13. Click the List tab at the top of the list's page to open the List toolbar.
    14. Click the Create Column button link in the List tab toolbar.
    15. Enter "Home State" in the Column name text box field and change The type of information in this column is option field to Lookup (information already on this site).
    16. In the Additional Column Settings region change the In this column drop-down box to Abbreviation and select the Title check box under the Add a column to show each of these additional fields field.User or Group column options
    17. Click the OK button to complete creating the new list column.
  7. Set Demo List to permanently display in the Quick Launch menu.
    1. Click the LIST tab to open the toolbar.
    2. Click the List Settings button on the LIST toolbar.
    3. Click the List name, description and navigation link on the Settings page. Settings page.
    4. Click the Display this list on the Quick Launch option to Yes and click the Save button. Display on quicklaunch option.
  8. Create a sample item in the new Demo List to test the results of the custom columns.
    1. Click the new item link within the Demo List to create a new item.
    2. Use the data in the following image as sample data for the new Demo List item, change the Who field data to an account name that exists in your SharePoint installation.List Demo item form

      For the Who field, you can optionally click a name from the drop-down list that SharePoint provides.

Column Validation

Validating a List Column

In this walk-through, you will learn how to enable validation on a custom list column. This walk-through will add validation to the Birthday list column added in the previous walk-through.

  1. Configure validation on the Birthday column within the Demo List.
    1. Select the Demo List from the Quick Launch menu if you are not already on the list.
    2. Click the List tab at the top of the list's page to open the List toolbar.
    3. Click the List Settings button on the List tab toolbar to navigate to the list settings page.List tab toolbar
    4. Click the Birthday link within the Columns region to navigate to the column settings page.List settings columns region
    5. Expand the Column Validation region within the column settings page and enter =[Birthday]<Today() in the Formula field and The birthday must be earlier than the current date. in the User message field.Column validation settings

      The formula in this example will ensure that the user cannot enter a date that is the same as or after the current date.

    6. Click the OK button to save the changes.
  2. Test the new column for validation.
    1. Select the Demo List from the Quick Launch to navigate back to the main browse view of the list.
    2. Click the new item link within the Demo List to create a new item.
    3. In the required Title field, enter "Testing" and select a future date in the Birthday field.
    4. Click the Save button. You should get a validation error message similar to the following image:Validation error message

      If you did not get an error message, go back and check our column settings validation formula and make sure it was typed in correctly.

    5. Change the Birthday date field to a date earlier than the current date and click the Save button. The new item should be saved and displayed in the list.

Working with Team Site Lists

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.

In this exercise, you will work with some of the default list templates in SharePoint 2013.

  1. Create a new Calendar list.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Scroll down the list of templates to locate and select the Calendar template from the list of available templates. Apps template list
    3. Enter "Calendar" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
  2. Add a permanent link to Calendar in the Quick Launch menu.
    1. Click the Calendar link under the Recent heading in the Quick Launch menu.
    2. Click the Calendar tab to open the toolbar. Calendar tab toolbar.
    3. Click the List Settings link button on the Calendar tab toolbar. List tab toolbar.
    4. Click the List name, description and navigation link on the list settings page. List settings page.
    5. Click the Yes radio button to add Contoso Contacts to the site's Quick Launch menu and click the Save button. List general settings page.

      Note the option to Use this calendar to share member's schedule. The default is No, which makes the calendar events visible to everyone who has view permissions to the list. If you set the option to Yes, then events have an added option to invite attendees. Only attendees that have been invited by the person creating the event will see the event when they view the calendar.

    6. Note that Calendar now shows on the site's Quick Launch menu as a root-level item. Site Quick Launch menu.
  3. Create a Calendar entry.
    1. Click the Calendar link within the Quick Launch menu. This will take you to a special view of the calendar.
    2. Note how this calendar view has added a couple of new tabs to the top of the page next to the Browse tab. In addition, the Quick Launch has been modified with a tool that allows you to change the year and month being viewed.Calendar tabs and navigation tool
    3. Click the Events tab to get the calendar's toolbar to display.Calendar Events tab
    4. Click the New Event link button in the Events toolbar.New calendar item form
    5. Fill in the form with whatever values you like. You must enter values for the Title, Start Time, and End Time fields, These are required fields as indicated by the blue asterisks next to their labels. Calendar event form.
    6. Click the Save button once you have finished filling out the form.
    7. Verify that the calendar displays with a shaded bar and event title across the days the new event is scheduled.
    8. Feel free to experiment by creating additional events in the calendar.
  4. Create a new Tasks list.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Scroll down the list of templates to locate and select the Tasks template from the list of available templates. Apps template list
    3. Enter "Tasks" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
  5. Add a permanent link to Tasks in the Quick Launch menu.
    1. Click the Tasks link under the Recent heading in the Quick Launch menu.
    2. Click the List tab to open the toolbar. List tab toolbar.
    3. Click the List Settings link button on the List tab toolbar. List tab toolbar.
    4. Click the List name, description and navigation link on the list settings page. List settings page.
    5. Click the Yes radio button to add Tasks to the site's Quick Launch menu and click the Save button. List general settings page.
    6. Note that Tasks now shows on the site's Quick Launch menu as a root-level item. Site Quick Launch menu.
  6. Create a new Task.
    1. Click the Tasks link within the Quick Launch menu. This should take you to a view of the tasks list.
    2. Note how this tasks list view has added a couple of new tabs to the top of the page next to the Browse tab.Task list tabs
    3. Click the Tasks tab to get the task list's toolbar to display.Task list items tab
    4. Click the New Item link in the Task list's toolbar to open the new task form.New calendar item form
    5. Click the SHOW MORE link in the form to open the view the additional task fields.New calendar item form
    6. Use the following table for information to fill in the new task form:
      Field Data
      Title: Type "Complete lesson on creating SharePoint lists"
      Priority: Select (2) Normal
      Status: Select In Progress
      % Complete Type "50"
      Assigned To: Enter your account name here.
      Description: Type "Creating and working with SharePoint lists."
      Start Date: Select (Date course started)
      Due Date: Select (Date course ends)
    7. Click the Save button once you have finished filling out the form.
    8. Verify that the Task list displays with the new task you created. Feel free to experiment by creating additional tasks in the Tasks list.

Create Custom Lists and Columns

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will learn to create a new list from the Custom List template. In addition, you will learn to modify column properties as well as add new custom columns.

  1. Create a new list in your Team Site using the Custom List template.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Select the Custom List template from the list of available templates. Apps template list
    3. Enter "Favorite Cars" in the Name field and then click the Create button.
  2. Add custom columns to the new Favorite Cars list.
    1. Click the Favorite Cars list from the Quick Launch menu if it is not already selected.
    2. Click the new Item in the middle of the empty list main page. This will open a new list item.Favorite Cars new item dialog form
    3. Do not enter anything at this time; just verify that the only field is the required Title field. Click the Cancel button to close the dialog form without creating a new list item.
    4. Click the List tab to open the lists toolbar.List toolbar
    5. Click the Create Column button in the Manage Views section of the toolbar.List toolbar

      Note that the image is only showing a portion of the list's toolbar due to space constraints. In addition, your web browser window's width will affect the buttons displayed on the toolbar.

    6. Enter "Model" for the Column name field and leave the default Single line of text as the data type for the column.Create column dialog Take a few moments to read through the additional column settings, but the default values are fine for this exercise.
    7. Click the OK button to create and save the changes to the new list column.
    8. Repeat the steps above to create two additional columns and use the following table for information about the new columns:
      Column name Data type
      Top Speed Number
      Price Currency
    9. Keep the default column settings for the new Top Speed and Price columns based on their data types. Take a moment to note that the different data types have different additional settings. For example, the Currency data type has a currency format selection.
  3. Rename the existing Title column in the Favorite Cars list to Make.
    1. Verify that the newly created Favorite Cars list is selected in your site's Quick Launch menu. Select it if it is not.
    2. Click the List Settings button on the List tab within the Settings group in the toolbar.List toolbar
    3. Take a moment to read through the list settings page. This page offers links to various list administration task links grouped by category. The group we are going to be working with is the Columns.List settings page
    4. Click the Title column link to bring up the column settings page. Note how using this page you can change various settings of the column based on the data type of the column.
    5. To rename this column, type over the text in the Column name field with the text "Make".
    6. Click the OK button to save your changes and return to the list settings page.
    7. Verify that the old column Title has been renamed to Make in the column group.Column group in list settings page
    8. Click the Favorite Cars link in either the Quick Launch or the Site's Breadcrumbs to navigate back to the browse view of the Favorite Cars list.Favorite Cars Quick Launch and Breadcrumbs links
  4. Add some new Favorite Cars to the custom list.
    1. Click either the new item link within the list or the New Item button on the Items tab toolbar of the Favorite Cars list.Favorite Cars New Item links circled
    2. The Favorite Cars new item dialog form will open with fields for the custom columns you added earlier.Favorite Cars New Item dialog
    3. Enter the following values for new Favorite Car item and click the Save button to save the data back to the list.
      Make Model Top Speed Price
      Bugatti Veyron SS 268 2,420,000.00
    4. To add multiple cars to the new Favorite Cars list, you can use the edit link to enter items in a spreadsheet type of view. You can use the following table for data to input but feel free to use your own "favorite cars" as well.
      Make Model Top Speed Price
      SSC Ultimate Aero TT 257 654,500.00
      Koenigsegg CCX 250 720,500.00
      Saleen S7 Twin Turbo 248 597,000.00
      McLaren F1 240 1,100,000.00
      Ferrari 458 Italia 202 150,000.00
      Ferrari 599 GTO 208 383,500.00
      Favorite cars list.
    5. Compare your list to the following image:Favorite Cars list with dataIt should look the same or similar depending on whether you used your own "favorite cars" or not. Note the Price column is formatted as currency for you based on the data type you chose for that column.
    6. Click the Stop link to exit the editing view.

Create a SharePoint List with the Import Spreadsheet Template

Duration: 10 to 15 minutes.

In this exercise, you will learn to create a new list and columns by importing data from an Excel spreadsheet. In addition, you will modify the new list so that it displays in the Quick Launch menu.

  1. Create a new list by using the Import Spreadsheet template.
    1. Click the Settings menu and then choose the Add an app menu item.Site actions menu
    2. Search for the Import Spreadsheet App template by typing "Import" in the textbox labeled Find an app and click the search icon.App templates search box
    3. Select the Import Spreadsheet template from the search results.Search results for Apps.
    4. In the new list form that opens enter "Course List" in the Name field.Import spreadsheet name form
    5. Click the Browse button to select the spreadsheet for the import.
    6. In the Choose File to Upload dialog window, browse to the folder you copied the class files to and select the Instructor Led Training Report.xlsx file. Click the Open button to close the dialog window and complete the selection.
    7. Click the Import button. This should open Microsoft Excel with the selected file loaded. A second dialog window titled Import to Windows SharePoint Services list should also open as shown in the following image.Import to Windows SharePoint Services list dialog
    8. In the Select Range drop-down field, choose ProductReleaseScheduleILT!Table1 from the drop-down list. There should only be one choice.

      Optionally you could choose Range of Cells from the Range Type field. This would then allow you use your mouse to click and drag across your spreadsheet selecting the range of cells to import. Having a named table as we do in this example makes it a bit easier to just select the table.

    9. Click the Import button to complete the import process.
    10. Once the Import form closes you will be automatically taken to the Browse tab of the new list. Note how new columns have been automatically created based on the column headers of the imported spreadsheet.Course List data with column headers circled
  2. Add the new imported list to the Quick Launch menu.
    1. Note how the new list "Course List" does not have a link in the Quick Launch menu. The Import Spreadsheet template you used does not have an option to add the list to the Quick Launch menu as part of the import process.
    2. Click the List tab at the top of the Course List list page to open the toolbar.List toolbar

      Note that the image is showing only a portion of the list's toolbar due to space constraints. In addition, your web browser window's width will affect the buttons displayed on the toolbar.

    3. Click the List Settings button on the List tab within the Settings group in the toolbar.List toolbar
    4. Click the List name, description, and navigation link under the General Settings group on the List Settings page.List settings with Title, description and navigation link circled
    5. Click the Yes option under the section Display this list on the Quick Launch? and then click the Save button to save your changes.
    6. Note how now there is a new link, Course List, under the Lists group within the Quick Launch menu.Quick Launch with Course List link circled

      The text for the link in the Quick Launch menu is based on the title of the list. The lists title can be changed on the Site Settings page using the same List name, description and navigation link you used to add the list to the Quick Launch.