This SharePoint article will discuss how to configure metadata navigation for a document library in SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016/2019?
A metadata navigation filter will help the user to dynamically filter the content from the SharePoint lists or document libraries based on the metadata in SharePoint Online or SharePoint Online or SharePoint 2013/2016/2019.
What is the MetaData in SharePoint
Metadata is data about data, meaning metadata describes additional details about an item, file or document. Like Metadata for a file can be author name, document type, document size, etc.
If you want to associate metadata to a document, first you need to add a column to the document library.
Why we have the Metadata column concept?
SharePoint introduced metadata to overcome problems with the folder structure inside a document library.
Few problems with folder structure inside the SharePoint document library are:
- Very difficult to get information from the nested folder structure.
- If you have more nested folders then you may face URL length limitation problem, because URL length is limited to ~260 characters.
- You can not sort or filter from SharePoint document library headers. Like this, there are lots of disadvantages.
How to configure metadata navigation for a list or library SharePoint Online/SharePoint 2010/13/16/19
To demonstrate this, I have particularly selected the SharePoint custom document library. In this document library, I have added one custom column of choice type called “Course For” which has values like Administrator- Developer- End Users- Interview Questions & Answers. I have already uploaded a few documents to the document library as well.
- To work with the Metadata navigation we need to activate a site level feature “Metadata Navigation and Filtering” first.
- To activate that, click on the gear icon on the top right corner of a page and then click Site Content. This will open a site contents page.
- Click on the Site Settings link. This will open the site settings page
- Then click on the “Managed site features” link which is presented in the “Site Actions” category.
- Then in the “Site Features” features page look for the “Metadata Navigation and Filtering” feature and click on Activate like below:
Once the feature is activated successfully, go back to the document library again.
Click on the gear icon and then select “Library Settings”. In the library settings page, click on the “Metadata navigation settings” which is under General Settings.
Then in the “Metadata Navigation Settings” page go to the “Configure Key Filters” section and there you can see the available columns in the “Available Key Filter Fields” section.
Here I have added the “Course For” to appear in the filter list like below:
Now if you will go back to the document library you can see a Key Filters section must be appearing on the right side like below.
You can click on the checkbox for the Course For, and it will show only the documents which match the filter criteria.
Configure Navigation Hierarchies: Metadata navigation is really helpful to find content in large lists or libraries.
You can also Configure navigation hierarchies from the Metadata Navigation Settings page. Visit the Metadata Navigation Settings page and then from the “Configure Navigation Hierarchies” section select the column which you want to appear in the hierarchy like below. Here I have added the Course custom column which we have created for the document library.
Note: These navigation hierarchies are only visible in the Classic experience and not in the modern experience of a site.
Conclusion: In this article, we have understood how to configure metadata navigation for a document library in SharePoint Online, and SharePoint 2013/2016/2019.