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Required Column Values

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconIn earlier SharePoint Online from Scratch articles Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, has shown various way to categorize SharePoint document library files with column values.

In the demo below Peter shows how to set column values as required and discusses the pros and cons with required values.

If no column is marked as required, an uploaded file will show up in the library, accessible to all users, without categorization. The user has to open the file properties to make the categorization, so there is a risk that this will be omitted. On the other hand, the file upload becomes easier if you are not forced to categorize files to show them to other team members.

When there is a required column in a library, each uploaded file has to be "checked in", which means that the required value has to be filled out or selected before other users can access the file.

Required value at file upload

With required column values you can be sure that all new files are categorized, because when a file has been uploaded a Check in dialog is displayed. The file cannot be accessed by other users until the required fields have been filled out.

Required value when a file is created in the library or added in Windows Explorer

When a new file is created in the library, or when a file is added to a library that is opened in Windows Explorer, no dialog will be shown. Instead the file will have an icon which shows that it has to be checked in.

To check in a file, open its properties and add the missing value. Then check in the file with the Check in button in the library ribbon or via the ellipsis, Advanced.

Set a value for a SharePoint document library column to Required

  1. Click on the Library Settings button under the LIBRARY tab in the ribbon.

  2. Under Columns, click on the link to the column where you want to set a required value.

  3. In the Edit Column dialog, click on the Yes radio button under "Require that this column contains information:".
  4. Click OK.

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