SharePoint content type – Detailed Guide

In this tutorial, we will discuss what is content type in SharePoint? How to create a content type and add Site Columns to it.

I will also show you how to enable allow management content types to yes in SharePoint list or document libraries. How to add content type into a SharePoint List or document library in SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint 2013 or SharePoint Online?

Also, I have shown you how can we see all the list and site content types in SharePoint. Also, at last, I will show you how we can change the order of a content type in the SharePoint list or document library.

What is a content type in SharePoint?

A content type is a reusable collection of site columns and the other settings for a category of items or documents in a List/library which is used for encapsulation. Content types are the same in SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online.

Create a content type in SharePoint

Now we will create a Content type in SharePoint by using the following steps, these are the same we can create and use content type in SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online.

In a content type, you can add site columns in SharePoint, so first we will see how to create a site column in SharePoint.

Below are a few site columns that we have created before.

Step-1:-

To create a Content type, you have to create Site Columns, here I have created the below site columns.

content type in sharepoint
content type in sharepoint

Step-2:-

Click on the gear icon -> “Site Settings”.

how to create content type in sharepoint 2013
SharePoint Content type

Step-3:-

In the “Site Settings”, go to the “Site content types” which is present in the “Web Designer Galleries”.

sharepoint online content types
content type in SharePoint 2016

Step-4:-

Here go to the “Create” option for creating a Site Content Type.

create content type sharepoint 2013
content type in SharePoint 2013

Step-5:-

In this “Site Content Types”, give the Site content name and description. Select the parent content type and choose the parent content type whatever you want from them.

Here if you want to create a new group, then select the “New group” and give a name of that, and if you don’t want to create then select the “Existing group”. Click on “ok”.

sharepoint content type
content type in SharePoint 2013

How to add Site Columns in SharePoint Content type?

Now we will see how to add site columns to SharePoint content type which we have created above.

Step-1:-

Here it will show the Site Content Types information. Then go to the “Add from existing Site Columns” as like given below screenshot.

content type in sharepoint online
content type in sharepoint online

Step-2:-

In this Site Content Type, select the Columns that you created before and then add the available Columns there and click on “ok”.

content type in sharepoint
how to create a content type in sharepoint 2016

Step-3:-

Then after adding the site columns, a page will show like this given below.

how to create content type in sharepoint 2013
how to create content type in sharepoint 2013

How we can see SharePoint List Content types?

Go to the “New Item” which is present in the “List”. Here we can see only a “New Item” is present in the Content-type as I highlighted below screenshot.

how to create content type in sharepoint online
how to create content type in sharepoint online

How to enable allow management Content types in SharePoint?

To add a content type to list, you need to enable allow management content type for the list.

Follow the below steps to enable allow management content types.

Step-1:-

Go to the “List” and then click on “List Settings” which is present in the ribbon.

allow management of content types
allow management of content types

Step-2:-

Go to the “Advanced settings” which is present inside the “List settings”.

allow management of content types sharepoint online
allow management of content types sharepoint online or sharepoint 2016/2013

Step-3:-

Here select the option “Yes” to allow the management of Content types? (by default it was “no” previously).

allow management of content types sharepoint online
allow management of content types sharepoint online

Add Content type to a SharePoint List

Now we can add content type to a SharePoint list. Follow the below steps to add a content type to list.

Step-1:-

In the “List settings”, here it will show “Add from existing Site Content types” which was previously not showing. But after allowing the management Content types, it is showing now as the below screenshot. Then click on that “Add from existing Site Content types”.

create content type in sharepoint online
create content type in sharepoint online

Step-2:-

In this settings, select the Site Content type and add the available Site Content type. Click on “ok”.

 create content type in sharepoint 2010
create content type in sharepoint 2010

Display all Content types Added to SharePoint Online List

Here we can see all the Content types in the SharePoint list which I created in the above step. Open the SharePoint list and then go to the “ITEMS” tab and then click on New Item and there you can see all the content types which have been added to the SharePoint List. See the fig below:

sharepoint content type list
sharepoint content type list

Change the order of a Content type in SharePoint list or document library

We can change the order of the content types in the SharePoint list. Go to the “List settings” of a list. Here we can see the “Change new button order and default content type” in the Content Types section. Just click on that.

 sharepoint create content types
sharepoint create content types

In the “Settings”, here we can change the Content type order as visible or invisible. Similarly, we can change the position of the Content-type in ascending order as well as descending order as I changed below the given screenshot and then click on “ok”.

change order of content type sharepoint list
change order of content type SharePoint list

Now once you click on the New Item option in the ribbon then you will be able to see the content type order like below:

  • Item
  • TSproject
  • TSinfoemployee

Delete SharePoint content type

Here we will discuss some vital point about SharePoint Content type Deletion we should know.

1. I have created a content type and add in a list. Now I am trying to delete the site content type from the site.

For deleting the content type from the Site go to Site Settings->Site Content Types(Under the Web Designer Galleries)->Click on particular site content type which you want to delete, then click on Delete this site content type.

sharepoint content types list
sharepoint content types list

We will see we can able to delete or not the content type,

We can see the error message “Another site or list is still using this content type. If you would still like to delete it, please remove the content type from all sites and lists and then try again“.

sharepoint online content types
sharepoint online content types

Another site or list is still using this content type

The solution is to delete the content type from the SharePoint list. First, go to the list where the content type has been added and then delete the content type from the List.

To delete the content type from the list, go to List Settings, from the List of content type select the content type which you want to delete from the site then “Delete this content type”.

sharepoint site column vs content type 1
content types in sharepoint 2013

After Deleting the content type from the list we can able to delete from the site.

Note- One more thing we should remember we can delete the content type in the list directly when it did not contain any value. If the content type contains the item in the list first we need to delete the item then only we can able to delete the list content type.

2. We will see one more scenario now. Suppose I have a list that contains the content type (EmployeeContentType).

Content type is still in use SharePoint Online
Content type is still in use SharePoint Online

Here I have deleted the SharePoint List from the SharePoint Site.

What you think now we can able to delete the content type from the site or not. The answer is still we could now able to delete from the SharePoint site. When we are trying to delete we will see the error “Content type is still in use”, see the below screenshot.

Content type is still in use
Content type is still in use

The Content type is still in use error is coming because we deleted the SharePoint Online list but still it is there in the SharePoint recycle bin (go to Site Collection Administration -> Recycle bin). So delete the List from the SharePoint first stage and the second stage recycle bin.

Now we can able to delete the content type from the site.

Add content type to document library SharePoint Online

We can add a content type to a list or document library like below. Here I have taken a SharePoint Online list, but the same steps we can follow to add a content type to a document library.

Here in the SharePoint online site, I have a custom list as “EmployeeTasks” and we will see how we can add one content types to it.

Open the list or library setting page (If you are using classic look click on the List settings button from the ribbon else if you are using new SharePoint online modern list or document library click on the Settings icon -> List Settings/Library Settings). Then in the List Settings page, click on Advanced Settings which is under General Settings.

add content type to sharepoint online list or document library
add content type to sharepoint online list or document library

Then in the advanced settings page, choose Allow management of content types? to Yes like below:

sharepoint online add content type to list or library
sharepoint online add content type to list or library

Then in the same list settings page, go to the Content Types section and click on “Add from existing site content types” like below:

add a content type to a list or library
add a content type to a list or library

This will open the Add Content Types page, here first choose the group as “List Content Types” and then choose “Task” from the available site content types and then click on OK like below:

add content type to sharepoint library
add content type to sharepoint library

Once you click on OK, the content types will be added to the list. You can check in by clicking on the New item icon.

change new button order and default content type
change new button order and default content type

If you are new to SharePoint online modern UI, you can read below SharePoint online modern experience articles:

Change new button order and default content type in SharePoint List or Document library

If you look at the above, the default content type is Item, but sometimes maybe for business requirement, we want to change new button order and default content type.

So here we will see how to set default content type SharePoint 2013/Online and also we will see how to change default content type SharePoint online or change default content type SharePoint 2013/Online.

Open the list or document library and then go to the list or library settings page. In the list settings page go to the content type section. If you do not see the Content Types section then make sure to check Allow management of content types? in the Advanced settings page. Here in the Content Types section click on “Change new button order and default content type” like below:

change default content type sharepoint 2013
change default content type sharepoint 2013

This will open the Change New Button Order page, where you can change the button order as well as you can also show/hide. To Change the order I have set the position like below. If you will uncheck any content type in the Visible section, then the content type will not appear in the new button.

sharepoint change new button order and default content type
sharepoint change new button order and default content type

Once you click on OK, now you click on the new button, you can see the Task content type will be the default one.

change default content type sharepoint online
change default content type sharepoint online

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we discussed what is content type in SharePoint? How to create a content type in SharePoint Online/2013/2016. How we can add sites column to SharePoint content types in SharePoint. How we can add content types to the SharePoint list. How we can change the order of content types in SharePoint 2013/2016 or SharePoint Online. We will see how to delete the content type from the site.

Also, we saw, how to add a content type to SharePoint Online list or document library. Also, we saw how we can change new button order and default content type in SharePoint List or Document library.

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Tags: add content type to sharepoint online list or document library change default content type sharepoint online, set default content type sharepoint 2013, sharepoint online add content type to list or library

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