HowTo: Create a Site Column in SharePoint 2010

This post is for SharePoint beginners. When creating custom lists or customizing lists based on the default templates, you often add columns. If you want to re-use these columns you can choose to create site columns, these are re-usable.

Why and when to use site columns

Some columns you add to your lists might be unique, unique in your organisation, or unique in your project. As some columns may be unique, others can have multiple occurrences within you organisation. When columns have more settings and options to it and in that way can become relatively complex, when this occurs it might be handy to re-use these columns. This has several advantages. It saves you time, time in creating them and perhaps time in testing them. It also ensures that every different list, has the same way of displaying and functioning of the site column.

How to create a site column

  1. Navigate to the top level site of the site collection in which you want to use the site column. The site column will only be shared in the site collection and its children.
  2.  In the upper left corner click “Site Actions” and then choose “Site Settings”. Next, under ” Galleries” , click “Site columns”.
    Creating a site column: Menu

    Creating a site column: Menu

  3. On the page that is displayed, a list with all existing site columns is displayed. Click “Create” to create a new site column.
    Creating a site column: Column list

    Creating a site column: Column list 

  4. This opens a page which looks familiar if you have create a list column before, or maybe you’ve seen it reading my post about creating a custom list. When all the properties of the site column are set to fit your needs, click “Ok” to create the site column.
    Creating a site column: Existing site columns

    Creating a site column: Existing site columns 

  5. After creating the site column we of course also want to use it. The first time I tried to, it took me some time to find where I could do that. In the site collection where you created your site column, either create a new list, or use an existing one. Click on the list. In the Ribbon, make sure that under “List Tools”, List is selected (click it). Then, in the Ribbon, click “List Settings”.
  6. Scroll down to “Columns” and click “Add from existing site columns”.
    Adding a site column to a list: Menu

    Adding a site column to a list: Menu 

  7. Add the column to the list and presto, we’re done.
    Adding a site column to a list: Adding the columns

    Adding a site column to a list: Adding the columns 

SharePoint versions 

  • SharePoint 2010 Foundation
  • SharePoint 2010 Standard Edition
  • SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition
  • SharePoint 2010 Online (Office 365 Edition)

Permission level

  • Design
  • Full Control

More to read

I can imagine that you might want to know even a bit more on site columns, as this article is only about creating a site column. I recommend you read this article, it elaborates about the basics and theory surrounding site columns and content types. If you want to know hot to create a content type, read my article about creating content types.

Thats all folks, for now Happy SharePointing and untill next time.

5 thoughts on “HowTo: Create a Site Column in SharePoint 2010

  1. Pingback: HowTo: Create a Content Type in SharePoint 2010

  2. Pingback: Associated Calculated Columns in Reusable Workflows (SP2010) « Blah-de-blah-blog

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