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January 08
What’s your viewpoint? Get to know SharePoint 2013 Views

Clients regularly ask me “What is a View?” I always tell them “think of a view as how you’d like to see information” as each person’s learning or data interpretation style differs. Some people can quickly scan a text list and determine the information relevant to their task, and others benefit from a graphical or calendar display. SharePoint Views provide multiple ways for users to interact with data with six different ways to create views, with only one method requiring additional tools or skills.

Views are available on lists, libraries and calendars. Think of libraries and calendars as a designated list type – you enter data into either one and it is displayed in a predefined format.

Discover View options

To begin, navigate to your selected list or library. Once you have entered the list or library a menu appears at the top of it. In the example below, the Calendar tab is shown, note where “Create View” is located. In other lists such as a task list, look for the “List” tab for these options.

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Once “Create View” is selected, the view types associated with the list or library appear. 

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Let’s discuss

How do you know which view is best for you? A brief description of each is listed below. You are not limited to a single view per list or library – so if one of these isn’t sufficient, go ahead and set up a variety. You can have only one default view, the view presented when you first arrive on a page, but can have additional views that may be displayed by selection.

  v  Standard – This is the default view when you first access an app. The document or title item is in hyperlink format with an Edit menu.

  v  Calendar – No surprise, this displays as a Calendar.

  v  Gantt – A Gantt is a project management chart which shows tasks along a timeline.

  v  Custom View in SharePoint Designer – If you have this tool installed, you have the option to create custom views.

  v  Standard View with Expanded Recurring Events – This is the default view with the ability to expand to show recurring events.

  v  Datasheet – An editable spreadsheet format. 


Configure a View

Let’s begin with a task list example for configuring a View. Navigate to the tasks list and select it. Next select the list options from the task list tabs. From the List tab select “Create View.”

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The next step is to determine your view type. For this example, a standard view is selected.  Note that with a task list there are four view types available plus the ability to customize with SharePoint Designer. 

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Establish the basic components of this view by providing a View Name and selecting the intended audience. A Personal View is just for you, while a Public View may be accessed by anyone with permissions to the list. 

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Next, determine the columns you wish to display by selecting the “Display” checkbox next to Column Name. List the column names in order using the numerical selections within “Position from Left.”

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Let’s say you’d like to know by due date the task status. Leverage the “Group By” feature to select “Due Date” and “Task Status” to display this information. When you are finished select “OK” at the very top or bottom of this page.

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Your standard task view is complete and displays tasks grouped by due date and task status. Now you can browse the tasks that have the next due date and determine the task status at a glance.​
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Let’s take this same task information and display it in another view. To do this, return to the task list menu and repeat the steps to create a view.

The Calendar Task View

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The Datasheet View

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The Gantt Chart View

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There you have it – one list and four different ways to view the information with no special skills or additional tools.  What’s your viewpoint? Find out by mastering View configuration.


About Nora Ten Broeck, PMP, MOS: SharePoint 2013: Nora is a SharePoint enthusiast with interests in engagement management, improved business processes and Nintex. Follow her @NoraTenBroeck





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