Build a Custom SharePoint List

Build a Custom SharePoint List

We’ve covered a lot about SharePoint lists in this course.  You’ve learned that a SharePoint list is a collection of pieces of information– all of which have the same properties.  Let’s move on to what kind of lists SharePoint has built-in.

Built-in lists

  • Announcements
  • Contacts
  • Custom List
  • Custom List in Datasheet view
  • External list
  • Links
  • Promoted Links
  • Issue Tracking
  • Tasks
  • Import from Spreadsheet

You can use any of these right out of the box, as they are some of the most commonly used apps in the SharePoint world.  They are already setup and ready to use in your site immediately. Most of them are self-explanatory, but by just creating one and playing around with it you should be able to understand the functionality the offer.


Making a custom list
You probably weren’t too surprised to find that a Grocery List was not one of the built-in lists.  This is fine, we’ll just have to create a Custom List.

  • Click on Custom List
  • Give your list a name (Shopping List), and if desired click “Advanced Options”, and enter a description

You’ll be taken to the list, and you will see that you have a column (Title) created for you.

  • Click “+ New item”
  • Enter a title, “Eggs”

We’d like to create more columns to capture specific information about these items.

  • Click “edit” in “edit this list”
  • A grid will pop-up where the list was.  This is the datasheet view mentioned above.
  • Hover your mouse over “Title” and in the column header.
  • Click “Rename Column”
  • Change “Title” to “Item Name”
  • Then Click the “+” symbol on the left.
  • This displays 4 common column types, and an option for “More ColumnTypes…”, click More column types.
  • A window comes up with every column type that you can add.
  • Enter “Price” in the column name and select the “Currency” option.
  • We can make the field require input, enforce a unique value, min-max, and number of decimal places.
  • Select the option to make the column required
  • Click “OK”
  • Click “Stop” in Stop editing this list
  • Click “Eggs” under the item name column, and on the next page click on “Edit Item” in the top-left of your screen.
  • Enter a price for eggs.

Go ahead and add a few more items to the list with the “+ new item” link.  This way when we import and export in the next step we’ll have some data to work with. Feel free to add more columns in the same way.  Play with the options you have.  You can add a choice field for the name of the store, a yes/no box for coupon, and a text field for description—if you want.

Exporting a SharePoint list to Excel 
Now that we have our grocery list created in SharePoint with some columns and data, let’s see how we can export the list to Excel.

  • Click the GEAR symbol and click “Site Contents”
  • Go to your Shopping list.
  • When you open the list, you should see a “Ribbon” at the top of your screen with three tabs
    • Browse
      Hides the ribbon, and lets you browse through the site easily.
    • Items
      Contains commands that pertain to an item selected in the list
    • List
      Contains commands that pertain to the entire list.
  • Click the “List” tab.
  • Look for and click “Export to Excel” around the middle of the ribbon.
  • You’ll be asked to open or save the file.  Just open it for now.
  • Click “allow” or “enable” on any pop-ups you see. (You may need to enter your password as well)
  • You will now have a local copy of the list you can perform analysis on.

Remember, this is just a copy of the list.  If you edit the spreadsheet, you’re just editing the file, not the list.

Importing a Spreadsheet
One of the built-in list types we can use is Import a Spreadsheet.  I’ve created a sample spreadsheet you can save to your computer Here.  Download it and save it to a convenient place on your computer.

  • Go to the site in which you’ll be adding the list
  • Click the GEAR symbol in the top-right of your screen
  • Select “Add an App”
  • Select “Import Spreadsheet” from the available apps
  • Enter a name for your list, “My List”, and optionally, a description
  • Click “Browse” and select the file you saved earlier
  • Excel will ask you to select the range type and range. Leave the option as “Table Range”, and select the range listed in the box.
  • That’s it!  You’ll be taken to your imported list and be able to add items and columns immediately.

This was a long lesson, so have a coffee break, stand up and stretch, and when you’re ready, watch the video to review and see how it all works.