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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

What Is a Document Library?

A document library a special instance of a list, in which every list item is a file, as shown in Figure 1.8. Files can be Microsoft Office documents, Adobe Acrobat documents (PDF files), or any other type of file that the system administrator allows. This book often refers to document libraries as simply libraries.

Figure 1.8

Figure 1.8 A sample document library with several types of documents.

Most of the attributes of lists exist in document libraries. In fact, lists and documents libraries are similar in many ways. However, each item in a document library is a file. Therefore, when creating a new item in a document library, you need to either upload a file or create one. This process is explained in Chapter 6.

Additionally, unlike in lists, in document libraries, each row can hold only one file. There isn't an option to attach more files to the row. Essentially, the file itself is the row.

Also, because a file can be downloaded, visitors to document libraries have different options available to them when browsing a document library than they have with lists.

Because document libraries and lists have so much in common, many instructions throughout this book apply to both. Where appropriate, the text makes clear that the instructions are for both. For example, the section "Add a Column to a List or Document Library" in Chapter 7 covers both document libraries and lists because the principle of how to create them is the same.

Several special document libraries templates are available in SharePoint. These templates are designed for specific types of content, but they are essentially document libraries. Some of these special cases are described later in this chapter.

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