We know, that a huge portion of making people fall in love with a new tool is the look of it. Some like it in this color, others in that etc. – The same is for managing documents and if you are using Microsoft SharePoint, you have a ton of options to make it look “fancy” and create a great view. I also know, that looks are not important to everyone and that “one look” doesn’t suit all, but with the following 3 tips, I’m sure, that at least one is something for you.
Build-In formatting the view
You can use column formatting to customize how fields in SharePoint lists and libraries are displayed. To do this, you construct a JSON object that describes the elements that are displayed when a field is included in a list view, and the styles to be applied to those elements. The column formatting does not change the data in the list item or file; it only changes how it’s displayed to users who browse the list. Anyone who can create and manage views in a list can use column formatting to configure how view fields are displayed. – Source Microsoft
Let’s face it, not many people will get into JSON, especially end users, BUT you also don’t need to if you want to “pimp your library”. You just can do it by yourself and you don’t need to write ANY code.
I’m almost positive, most people like the right picture above at least a little more. It just is easier to identify the elements or in this case documents which need attention and it also helps to reduce the “text-heavy” overall look. You can do this all by yourself by following the next animation (10-steps):
So you see, that you don’t need JSON to make something better. Also Microsoft announced that soon we can do even more with it.
You will have the ability to use If/Then logic to format rows and columns based on attributes like numerical, date, etc. to apply color formatting across SharePoint lists and libraries. You, too, will have greater flexibility for how your text appears within your items by using the enhanced rich text editor – to bold, color, underline, etc. more closely to how you wish your text to appear. – Source Microsoft
Copy & Paste JSON
You can’t always copy & paste some JSON to a column to make it work, but I want to point to one specific JSON code you can get from GitHub. Simply use that and apply it to a person column and you will see some real magic (not that Hogwarts-Stuff 🙂 )
This one is even more simple than the first example. You just need to paste the JSON code into the column formatter. In the comparison above, I applied it to both people columns in this library.
I think, it is just that cool to see the profile pictures instead of the plain first and last name.
A full-blown custom view example
For those who know a little bit about JSON, you know that the possibilities are endless. To show that to you let’s assume you want to create a product catalog within a SharePoint list. The view is obviously not that great for such a use-case, but if you know your “JSON”, you can create something impressive:
If you want to get your hands on such a view, check out the video / tweet (by Vesa Juvonen) from Community Call Demo. Introducing new tile layout for view formatting – This community call demo was taken from the SharePoint General SIG community call recording.
If you want to dig into some other stuff, Microsoft has already heard the “need” for this. You can check the article “Use column formatting to customize SharePoint” and also the the examples shared on GitHub.
As mentioned already, we soon see some new stuff and you can find out more about. Just check the article “Content collaboration throughout Microsoft 365 – Ignite 2019 announcements” and in the picture below.
That’s all for now, hope you can use something of this article and create a magical list or library view. Until the next one, don’t be afraIT and make sure you check out my summary article on Jeff Teper’s session.