Introduction to Document Sets

You can create and management multi-document work products with the new Document Set content type. A Document Set is a group of related documents that can be created in one step and then managed as a single entity.

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What is a Document Set?

Document Set capabilities

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What is a Document Set?

When working on projects, people seldom create individual documents. For many kinds of projects, it might be more typical to produce a set of multiple related documents. In some cases, this set of documents might be the end result of a project, or the “deliverable.” For example, a professional services company might produce a pitch book in response to each request for proposal that it receives from a possible client. In other cases, this set of documents might simply represent different types of information that support a larger project and result in the creation or delivery of something else. For example, a manufacturing company might produce a standard set of documents related to design, testing, and fabrication for each product it manufactures.

These documents may be produced simultaneously or in phases by one or more people, and they might involve documents of different file formats (for example, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, Excel files, etc.).

Organizations that want to create and manage multi-document work products consistently can configure a new Document Set content type for each multi-document work product they typically create. The Document Set content type is a folder-based content type that organizes multiple related documents into a single view where they can be worked on and managed as a single entity.

When a Document Set content type is added to a library, users can create new instances of the Document Set by clicking New Document on the ribbon within a library.

Document Set command on the New Document menu

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Document Set capabilities

The Document Set content type includes several capabilities that make it easier to create and manage multi-document work products successfully. When you are configuring a Document Set content type, you can do the following:

  • Specify the content types that are allowable within the document set (for example, document files, images, audio, or video).

  • Specify any default documents that you want to be automatically created each time a new instance of the Document Set is created. You can map the default documents to the allowed content types. For example, if your organization has standard templates that you use for things like contracts, or if you have branded templates that you use for specific types of communication, you can upload these when you configure a Document Set content type.

  • Specify any shared metadata that you want synchronized to all documents in a set.

  • Customize a Welcome Page for a Document Set that displays in each instance of a work product created from a Document Set content type. This Welcome Page is a Web Part Page that can be set up to display project information or resources to help team members who are working on a Document Set (e.g., project timeline, links to resources, etc.).

  • Configure the workflows that you want to make available for the Document Set. You can use the standard Review or Approval workflows with Document Sets. Additionally, your organization can develop custom workflows for Document Sets using the four Document Set workflow actions available in Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010.

After a Document Set content type has been configured and added to a library, site users who are creating or managing documents in a Document Set can use both familiar document management features as well as special features like the Manage tab of the Document Set ribbon when working on documents in a Document Set.

Document Set authors can perform the following tasks:

  • Create new multi-document work products quickly and easily by using the New Document command in a document library.

  • Capture a version history snapshot of the current properties and documents within the Document Set.

  • Start workflows on the entire document set or individual items within the Document Set to manage common tasks such as review and approval.

  • E-mail a link to the Document Set.

  • Use the Send To command to move or copy the Document Set to another location (the destination must be configured within Central Administration).

  • Manage permissions for the Document Set.

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