A SharePoint document library is where you can find a list of documents and files stored on your site, as well as information about users, workflows, and related permissions. 

If you are new to the platform or have yet to complete your SharePoint training certification, you can find a document library by opening your Office 365 app launcher, selecting SharePoint, and browsing an alphabetical list of the apps and sites you have permission to.

Another way to find a SharePoint document library is to use the search tool at the top of each SharePoint site. Enter a phrase or prompt to receive a list of the folders or files that match your query.

What Is a SharePoint Document Library?

The SharePoint library is a secure area where files and workflows are stored. Approved collaborators or coworkers can keep, edit, or add files to the site from remote devices.

In the document library, you can upload new files, drag and drop files into different folders. You can also access features such as check-in and checkout in SharePoint, where you reserve files while you make edits or amendments.

However, if you are collaborating on a workflow or project and need to share files from your document library or transfer files into different folders, it is important you learn how to replace a document in SharePoint without breaking links. This is a common issue even experienced users encounter.

Understanding the functionality and using the correct tools when you move, edit, or share files will ensure you can access all the features within SharePoint without encountering any problems.

How to Create a SharePoint Document Library

When you create a new site in SharePoint, a document library is created automatically. The library will only contain files or folders once you begin uploading content.

Users can also add new libraries when needed, which may be useful if you have certain files or folders that only want to give limited access rights or if you want to place finalized documents that should not be edited. Segregating restricted files in a  different document library prevents unauthorized use or sensitive files from being moved.

Libraries show a list of all the folders and files, including the ID of the user who created or last modified a file, along with version history information that can be used to track amendments.

What Can You Do In the SharePoint Document Library?

Document libraries act as an index of the folders and files within that site. You can use this area to delete or upload new files, make amendments, or link with another SharePoint document library. Users can also download files and control access permissions to libraries, folders, and individual files.

Version and activity tracking provides information about when files were last modified and circulates notifications to users when changes have been made or when another person has moved a file to a new location.

Other functionalities within a document library include the following:

  • Creating custom views
  • Sharing documents or folders with other SharePoint users
  • Adding links to external resources, such as files in a different library or a reference web page
  • Highlighting files, folders, or links for easy reference

You can upload files, folders, and templates through your library. By using the Upload button, you can select the appropriate digital assets to add, including images, videos, links, and any other content format.

In Summary

A SharePoint document library is a central repository for files of all sorts that is easily searchable by authorized users. The platform offers a number of key features that makes collaboration and management of workflows simple and transparent for all.

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