sharepoinTony

@info – The practical side of SharePoint

Reminder about List Views

Posted by sharepoinTony on August 2, 2010

Maybe it is my perspective and not really true, but it seems like a lot of people seem to forget that they can change the default view that appears when navigating to a SharePoint list.  Additionally, I seem to have to point out the simple steps to create an alternate view Style.

So for anyone out there that hasn’t realized it, take this post as your reminder…look at your list views and think of what the default “should” be; then consider using an alternate style when it improves usability.

Quick refresher points on List Views:

  • When creating a view you can select to “Make this the default view” right under the View Name.  Change the default view when it is more convenient for the majority of people viewing the data to see it this way.
  • Scrolling down and expanding the Style section of the Edit View page will allow you to change the appearance of the view and the data in your list.
  • Group By will allow you to create groupings of the data in your list based upon one of the columns in your list.
  • Totals will allow you to present column totals to your users.
  • Filters let you manage the data presented in the view.

Tips

Browse out to one of your lists and explore the resulting view after changing the style.

  • One thing I like to do is use the Preview Pane style for some lists where the default view needs to display many columns.  This may require the user to scroll down to see all of the data, but it usually is better than scrolling over to the right to see all of the columns.
  • Choosing the Shaded style might make a vast collection of data easier to read.
  • The Boxed style might be handy when you are displaying a small set of data in a web part, rather than displaying all of the data in the list.  Refine your display with filters and sorting.
  • Filter tip: you can use “[Today]” in your filter when filtering against a date column.  I often use it to get “recent” items by filtering with a target date column.
  • Don’t display a column that you are using in Group By.  The grouped column will display in the grouping, save screen space and remove the column from your view, un-check “Display” in the Columns section.  This isn’t a rule, it is only a tip to save space and avoid duplication of data in the display of your data.
  • If you have a list that is capturing numbers of something, people generally want to see the total of one of those columns. Give them a view that includes totals right from the start, expand the Totals section and select the appropriate column.  Don’t remove the column from your display like I suggested for Grouping – people usually want to see the details that make up a total.
  • Another ‘forgotten’ view is the Calendar View.  You can create a calendar view of any list that has a date …and they all have the Created and Modified dates.  Those dates aren’t always relevant however there are many task and other lists that have content and dates which are often compatible with a calendar view.  You can provide list users with both standard and calendar views to improve usability.


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