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3 Ways to Edit Multiple List Items

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconWhen you want to edit several list items, it is convenient to do them all in one step, instead of changing them manually one by one, especially if they should be changed in the same way. In the demo below Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows 3 ways to edit multiple SharePoint list items at the same time.

Open the list in Edit mode

To open a list in edit mode from a standard view mode, click on the 'edit' link above the list items. You can also click on the Quick Edit button under the LIST tab in the ribbon.

SharePoint list drag handleNow you can quickly change values by selection, and when you want several items to be changed in the same way, you can do it like in Excel: drag the little handle in the bottom right corner of a cell.

Open the list in Access

Internet Explorer should detect if Access is installed on the computer, and in that case the 'Open in Access' button under the LIST tab in the classic interface ribbon should be active. If it is, click on it and select the default option "Link to data on the SharePoint site".

The detection does not always work, so if the button is inactive, you can instead open Access, create a blank workbook and link to the SharePoint list like this: Access icon
  1. Close or delete the default table.
  2. Click on the More button under the EXTERNAL DATA tab in the ribbon and select SharePoint List.
  3. In the dialog that opens, paste or write in the path to the site that has the list you want to open in Access.
  4. Select the linked table option and click Next.
  5. Now all lists of the site are shown. Select the one you want to use, and it will open in a new table.

Now you can copy and paste more easily than in the SharePoint datasheet view, and Peter shows how you can use the Replace feature when you want to change multiple items in the same way.

Run an Access Query

When you have the SharePoint list open in Access and want to change multiple items in the same way, the quickest method is to run a query. 
  1. Click on the Query Design button under the CREATE tab in the Access ribbon.
  2. Add the list table to the query.
  3. Click on the Update button under the DESIGN tab in the ribbon.
  4. Select the field you want to update.
  5. Fill out the update value and the criteria.
  6. Click on the Run button under the DESIGN tab in the ribbon.
Now the values will be replaced quickly, and everything will be reflected back to the SharePoint site.

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