Create or add a column in a list or library

You can create a column in a list or library on a SharePointsite. 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 site. When you use an existing column, you're getting the benefit of columns created in other pages. Just like there are columns for lists and libraries, there are also columns for a site. You might add a site column to a list or library if the column that you want already exists as a site column.

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.

Note: SharePoint Designer offers extensive custom settings such as specifying column width. For more info see Create a custom list view using SharePoint Designer. SharePoint Designer is a developer tool, and not intended for end users.

Create a column in a list or library

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the page or in the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your list or library does not appear on a page, click settings Office 365 Settings button , click Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.

  2. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.

  3. In the Manage Views group, click Create Column.

    SharePoint Online Library create column link
  4. In the Name and Type section, type the name that you want for the column in the Column name box.

  5. Under The type of information in this column is, select the type of information that you want to appear in the column.

    Creat column dialog

  6. In the Additional Column Settings section, type a description in the Description box to help people understand the purpose of the column and what data it should contain. This description is optional.

    Depending on the type of column that you selected, more options may appear in the Additional Column Settings section. Select the additional settings that you want.

  7. If you want the data in the column validated, click Column Validation to expand, and type the Formula that you want to use to validate the data, and type the User message that you want to provide users to help them type valid data. For information on validation and formula syntax see Examples of common formulas in SharePoint Lists.

    The Column Validation section is not available for all types of columns.

  8. Click OK to save.

Add a site column to a list or library

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the page or in the Quick Launch.

    If the name of your list or library does not appear on a page, click settings Office 365 Settings button , click Site Contents, and then click the name of your list or library.

  2. In the ribbon, click the List or Library tab.

  3. In the Settings group, click List Settings or Library Settings.

    SharePoint Library Settings buttons on Ribbon

  4. On the Settings page, in the Columns section, click Add from existing site columns.

  5. On the Add Columns from Site Columns page, in the Select Columns section, select the group of site columns to choose from in the Select site columns from drop-down list.

    When you select a column group from the list, the available site columns appear in the Available site columns list.

    Add Columns from Site Columns

  6. Select the site columns you want to add and click Add. To add the column to the default view, which people on your site automatically see when they first open a list or library, make sure Add to default view is selected. Some lists such as the Tasks list also have the option Add to all content types, which is selected by default. If you want to add the column to all content types, make sure Add to all content types remains selected.

    Depending on the type list or library, there may be more settings in the Options section. Select the additional options that you want.

  7. Click OK to save.

To change a column to a list or library, see Change a column in a list or library.

To delete a column and its data from a list or library, see Delete a column from a list or library.

See Show or hide a column in a list or library on a page for the steps to show or hide a column in a list or library as an alterative to deleting from a page on a site.

See Manage lists and libraries with many items for the steps to manage a list or library with many items.

See Add, change, or delete a list or library on a page for the steps to add, change, or delete a list or library from a page on a site.

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