By default, there is only a single content type available under the (create) New dropdown menu within a document library. In the default document library on my My Site, for example, the only options under New are New Document (i.e., a Word doc) or New Folder:
The default content type is set when the document library is created, and it can be whatever type the library's creator desires (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), but you must pick one in the default experience. This is SharePoint though, so that default experience is customizable, and you have the ability to add additional content types to the New dropdown menu. I learned how to do so at the Mindsharp Power End User summit, and it's my pleasure to share what I learned. The trick is to allow content types in your library, and this is something that you need to do via the advanced settings for the library. To get to the advanced settings, from the Settings dropdown menu within the library itself, select Document Settings and, on the resulting Customize (name of your library) page, click the Advanced settings hyperlink under the General Settings header:
The first customization option for the Document Library Advanced Settings is for Content Types, and it's a simple Yes or No radio button selection that allows management of content types. The selection is defaulted to No, so in order to use them, you'll have to make the manual change to Yes:
As you can see in the image above, once you've turned Content Types on, "each content type will appear on the New button and can have a unique set of columns, workflows and other behaviors." You might think this means that a predetermined menu of content types will automatically appear in the New menu once you've turned content types on, but there's a little bit more to it than that. You'll need to create a template for each of the desired additional content types you'd like to have appear in that New menu, and then add them to the library as a new content type.
Since the creation of a new content type is a process unto itself, and since this is "kind of an advanced topic" per my Mindsharp instructor, I'll be devoting my next entry to the creation process. In the meantime, have a great weekend, and I'll see you on Monday!
Oct 17 2008, 05:37 PM
John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL. New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process. Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically). Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.