Create a New Site Content Type in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Create a New Site Content Type in SharePoint 2010

After you create a SharePoint 2010 library for everyone to store documents related to a project, over time, you develop a set of columns that allows you to track all the metadata. You might want to use the same columns for a second library. Instead of manually recreating the library, you can package your columns in a content type and then associate the content type with any library.

There’s one catch, of course. You must use site columns in your content type. So you need to create all your columns as site columns, add them to a content type, and then associate the content type with each library where you wish to use it.

Like site columns, content types have their own gallery where they’re stored. To create a new site content type:

  1. Go to the top-level site in your site collection and then choose Site Actions→Site Settings.

    The Site Settings page appears.

  2. In the Galleries section, click the Site Content Types link.

    A list of content types appears. Take a moment to scroll down the list. Notice that each content type has a parent. Your custom content type has to have a parent, too. The content type inherits the settings from its parent content type. Whatever columns are present in the parent content type automatically become part of your new content type, also.

    What’s cool about this is that you can always be assured that you have the minimum columns required. In the case of a content type for a document, your content type knows that files must have a filename.

    What stinks is that you have another thing to think about when creating your content type. A good starting point is whether your content type relates to items or documents. The Item content types are for things like contacts, tasks, and announcements. Document content types are things like documents, wiki pages, forms, and so on. Anything inherited from Document content type automatically gets a Name field to store the filename.

  3. Click the Create link to create a new content type.

    The New Site Content Type page appears.

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  4. In the New Site Content Type page, type a name for your content type in the Name text box.

    All the naming rules for lists, libraries, and columns apply here — namely, no spaces!

  5. Type a description that indicates how you intend to use the content type in the Description text box.

  6. Select a parent content type from the Select Parent Content Type From drop-down list.

    Each content type is assigned to one group. For a document, choose Document Content Types; select List Content Types for a list item. If you want to store files, such as podcasts, short video clips, and images, choose Digital Asset Content Types.

    Depending on the parent content type group you choose, a list of content types appears in the Parent Content Type drop-down list.

  7. Select the content type you want to use as the parent, or starting template, for your content type from the Parent Content Type drop-down list.

  8. In the Put This Site Content Into section, indicate into which group to place your content by selecting either the Existing Group or New Group radio button.

    If you select the Existing Group radio button, select a group from the drop-down list. If you choose New Group, enter a name for the group in the New Group text box.

  9. Click OK.

    SharePoint creates the content type and presents you with the Manage Content Type page, but you aren’t done yet. Use this page to add columns and configure your content type.

  10. (Optional) In the Columns section, click the Add from Existing Site Columns or Add From New Site Column link to add new or existing site columns.

    You have two options here:

    • You can add existing site columns.

    • You can create new site columns and then they’re added automatically to your site.

  11. (Optional) When you’re done adding site columns, you can assign an order to the columns by clicking the Column Order link. The Column Order page is displayed; click the drop-down list beside each column to assign a numbered order to it. When you’re done, click OK.

    The column order is saved and you’re returned to the Site Content Type information page; your new site content type is ready to use.