Create a site content type

In this article

About site content types

Content type considerations

Create a site content type

About site content types

As a site owner, you can create new site content types. You can then add these content types to lists and libraries at the site level on which you created them, in addition to lower-level sites. For example, a site content type that you create at the top-level site is available to lists and libraries on all sites in the site collection. Content types that are created at a lower-level site are not available to higher-level sites.

After you have defined a site content type, you can reuse it in multiple document libraries in the current site or in other sites. This enables you to organize your content in a meaningful way and associate the same capabilities to your content across your document management solution. For example, if your organization uses a particular type of contract, you can create a content type that defines the metadata for that contract, the template to use for the contract, and workflows required to review and complete the contract. Any document library to which you add the Contract content type will include all of the metadata definitions and workflows of the content type, and authors can use the template you specify to create new contracts.

A site content type describes the attributes of a document, folder, or list item. Each site content type can specify the following:

  • A set of properties.

  • Forms to edit the properties and display them.

  • Workflows you want to make available for the document or list item.

Tip   Site content types can also be extended by using custom features.

By adding a site content type to a list or library, you are specifying that the list or library can contain list items, folders, or documents of that content type. An instance of a site content type that is associated with a list is referred to as a list content type.

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Content type considerations

Consider the following when you create a new site content type:

Content types are organized into a hierarchy.    The content type hierarchy enables a content type to inherit its characteristics from another content type. In this way, classes of documents can share characteristics across an organization but these characteristics can be tailored for particular sites or lists.

For example, all customer deliverable documents in an enterprise might require a set of metadata such as account number and project number. By creating a top-level Customer Deliverable content type, from which all other customer deliverable document types inherit, you ensure that account numbers and project numbers will be associated with all variants of customer deliverable documents in your organization. If you add another required column to the top-level Customer Deliverable content type, you can choose to update all content types that inherit from it, which will add the new column to all customer deliverable documents.

New site content types are based on a parent content type.    When you create a new site content type, you must choose an existing (parent) site content type on which to create your new site content type. The new site content type that you create inherits the attributes of the parent. After you create a new site content type, you can make changes to it, such as adding or removing columns. Note that changes made directly to a child content type do not affect the parent content type on which it is based. When you update a parent content type, you can also choose whether those changes are updated in the list and site content types that inherit from that parent content type.

Child site content types inherit from the parent.    Content types that you create are based on a parent content type and thus inherit the attributes of the parent. When you update a parent content type, you can choose whether you want the child site content types to inherit those changes. The attributes that can be inherited from a parent content type are:

  • Document template.

  • Read-only setting.

  • Workflows.

  • Columns.

  • Extensible attributes added by other applications.

On all content type settings pages, you have the option to update list content types and child site content types. When you choose to update all content types that inherit from their parent content types, all settings on that page are also updated on all list content types and child site content types that are children of the content type that you are changing. This overwrites any previous settings on the list and site content types that inherit from this parent.

For example, if you change only the document template on the Advanced Settings page and choose to update list content types and child site content types, the document template and read-only setting are updated on all child content types because both of these settings are on the same page. Likewise, all changes made on the Workflow Settings page will be updated together on child content types. Each column has its own Change Site Content Type Column page, so the settings for each column must be updated separately.

Note that all attributes of a content type that appear on the parent content type — other than Name, Description, and Group — can be updated on child types. Columns or settings that do not appear on the parent type cannot be updated. To ensure that changes you make to the parent content type do not overwrite settings on child content types, you can mark the child content type as read-only. Although this is desirable in some situations, it will also reduce your ability to centrally manage your content type hierarchy.

If you do mark a content type as read-only, the parent’s settings can still override the child's settings if you explicitly set the parent to be not read-only and then update changes on child content types.

Site content types are stored in groups.    When you create a new site content type, you must choose whether to store it in an existing group or to store it in a new group that you create. If you do not want your new site column to be used by others, you can create a group named _Hidden, and then store your site column in it.

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Create a site content type

  1. On the home page of the site collection, click Site Actions, point to Site Settings, and then click Modify All Site Settings.

  2. In the Galleries section, click Site content types.

  3. On the Site Content Type Gallery page, click Create.

  4. On the New Site Content Type page, in the Name and Description section, type a name and, optionally, a description for the new site content type.

  5. In the Select parent content type from list, select the group on which you want to base this new content type. Note that the Special Content Types group contains content types that change the behavior of your list or library when added.

  6. In the Parent Content Type list, select the parent content type that you want to base your content type on.

    Note   The list of parent content types differs depending on the option that you selected in the previous step.

  7. In the Group section, choose whether to store this new site content type in an existing group or a new group.

  8. Click OK.

    The Site Content Type: Your new content type name page appears. You can choose options on this page to further define your new content type. For information on modifying content type settings, see the topic, Change a site content type.

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Applies To: SharePoint Server, SharePoint Server 2007

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