Working with a Datasheet View

Introduction

Individual list items from your SharePoint list are typically created via ‘NewForm.aspx’, which is accessed from within the list (Add new item). It’s typical for SharePoint site designers to create a “Datasheet” view (“spreadsheet view”) in addition to any other standard views.  This Datasheet view would include all columns from the list so that they (list items from the list) can be displayed, updated and/or exported, very easily.  New list items can also be created from such a Datasheet view.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (New List Item, Standard and Datasheet Views)

This LinDion Services performance support item focuses on general usage and key instructions when working with such a separately created Datasheet view of a list.  There are and will always be limitations when working with the Datasheet view – access “Editing and Synching List Item Changes with Microsoft Access” to learn about further editing features outside of SharePoint, synching changes back into your list.

Usage, Instructions and Limitations

The most powerful feature of a Datasheet view is the ability to create new list items (e.g. copy / paste) and even more, the ability to update content of existing list items, both without accessing each individual list item via ‘NewForm.aspx’ or respectively, for edits, via ‘EditForm.aspx’.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (Create a New List Item from the Datasheet View)

The most important functions are Sort and Filter and Copy / Paste.  These functions give you the ability to identify list items by valid selections that currently exist within columns of your list (or invalid selections for single-choice columns) as well as copying and pasting content from an offline source, into the list.  For example (with LinDion Services’ Learning Catalog), you want to drill-down to all list items by Category.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (Sort and Filter, Copy and Paste)

As previously mentioned, there are limitations you’ll encounter when working with the Datasheet view.

You cannot use the Datasheet view to sort column selections that are Multiple-Choice columns.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (No Sorting for Multiple-Choice Columns)

You cannot use the Datasheet view to identify list items that are “still” tagged with old (invalid) column selections if the column is Multiple-Choice – this is however possible with Single-Selection choice columns.

Other benefits include the ability to select columns that contain Blanks or Non-Blanks; depending on the requirement, this can be very helpful in identifying list items requiring updates.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (Blanks and Non-Blanks)

Use the Created, Created By, Modified, and Modified By columns to identify key pieces of information that may assist you when concerns arise – if you’d like to identify list items you or other users of the list with access to update content, have created or updated.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (Created, Created By, Modified, Modified By)

List Item ID#?  What is this?  Very simple: it is the actual list item that you have, at one point in time, created within your list and regardless of how often you update content from it, the List Item ID# remains the same.

MS-SharePoint: Working with a Datasheet View (List Item IDs)

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