Create or add a column in a SharePoint Online list or library

You can create a column in a list or library on a SharePoint Online site. Columns help you group, categorize, and track information, such as the department name or project number. These columns can include content types such as a single line of text, a drop-down list of options, a number that is calculated from other columns, or even the name and picture of a person on your site. You can also add columns that were created elsewhere on the SharePoint Online site. When you use an existing column, you're getting the benefit of columns people have created in other pages on the site.

Note: To create a column for a list or library, you must at least be a member of the default Designers SharePoint group for the site.

Updated October 31, 2016 thanks to customer feedback.

Create a simple column to an SharePoint Online list or library

You can add a new column to a list or library in several ways. If you just need a simple text, numeric, or date column, use these steps.

  1. In the All items view of the list or library you want to add a column, click Add column Add a list column button .

    Note: Does your screen look different than the examples here? Your administrator may have classic mode set on the list or document library, or you're using an earlier version of SharePoint. If so, see Create or add a column in a list or library. If you're a list or library owner, site owner, or administrator, see Switch the default experience for document libraries from new or classic for the steps to set the default experience. The steps are the same though for either a list or library, so you'll want to click List settings or Library settings depending on what you're updating.

  2. In the dropdown menu, choose the type of column you want (text, number, person, date, etc).

    List with Add column button highlighted
  3. In the new column dialog, type a title or column heading into the Name field.

    New column dialog box for entering title or heading
  4. Click Create.

Create more types of columns from the Settings page

If you don't see the column type in the simple list, click More ... in the steps above or follow these steps. From here you can customize the column such as setting the maximum number of characters in a field or making it required.

List with Add column button highlighted
  1. In the All items view of the list or library you want to add a column, click Add column Add a list column button , and then click More .... You can also click Settings Settings icon , and then click List settings or Library settings.

    Settings menu with List settings highlighted

    Note: Does your screen look different than the examples here? Your administrator may have classic mode set on the list or document library, or you're using an earlier version of SharePoint. If so, see Create or add a column in a list or library. If you're a list or library owner, site owner, or administrator, see Switch the default experience for document libraries from new or classic for the steps to set the default experience. The steps are the same though for either a list or library, so you'll want to click List settings or Library settings depending on what you're updating.

  2. On the Settings page, scroll down to the columns section and click Create column after the list of current columns.

    Closeup of Create column link in settings page
  3. In the column settings dialog, choose the column type, and fill in the properties and settings you want. When you choose a column type, wait a few moments for the details sections to change.

  4. At the bottom of the column settings, check Add to default view if you'd like the column to show in the default list or library view.

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