Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Thirty - Column Reordering In List And Libraries

In this article, I have explained how column reordering option works in lists and libraries.

Introduction

This article is the 30th part of my SharePoint series. Here are my previous articles.

  1. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part One - Introduction
  2. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Two - Web Application
  3. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Three - Site Collections
  4. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Four - Subsites
  5. Learn SharePoint In Series – Part Five – SharePoint Lists
  6. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Six - Power Of Versioning
  7. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Seven - Lists Advanced Settings
  8. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Eight - Validation Settings in List Settings
  9. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Nine - Audience Targeting
  10. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Ten - Rating Settings
  11. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Eleven - Form Settings in List Settings
  12. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twelve- Save list as a template in List Setting
  13. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Thirteen- Permission Settings in List Settings
  14. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Fourteen- Enterprise Metadata and Keywords
  15. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Fifteen - Retention Policy Under Information Management
  16. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Sixteen - RSS Settings in List Setting
  17. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Seventeen - List Columns in SharePoint
  18. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Eighteen - Multiple Lines Of Text Column Type in SharePoint
  19. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Nineteen - Number and Choice Column Type in SharePoint
  20. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty - Currency and Yes No Column types in SharePoint
  21. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty One - Person or Group Column types in SharePoint
  22. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Two - Date and Time Column types in SharePoint
  23. Learn SharePoint In Series – Part Twenty Three – Look Up Column Type in SharePoint
  24. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Four - Hyperlink or Picture Column Types in SharePoint
  25. Learn SharePoint In Series -Part Twenty Five - Calculated Column in SharePoint
  26. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Six - Task Outcomes and External Data Column Type in SharePoint
  27. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Seven - Introduction to Managed Metadata Column Types
  28. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Eight - Introduction to Site Columns
  29. Learn SharePoint In Series - Part Twenty Nine - Editing and Deleting Site Columns

In the previous 2 articles, I have explained the basics of Site columns and how to create, edit, and delete site columns. Now, in this article, I am going to explain how we can reorder the list and library columns.

  • Problem Statement
  • Changing the order of columns
  • Other possible ways of column reordering
  • Summary

Problem Statement

We have already seen that when we add columns to the list, SharePoint automatically creates the list entry forms on its own. SharePoint creates the columns into the list form in the same order you have added. For example, if you have created Column-1 first, and then Column-2, then the list form will contain Column-1 and then Column-2. Let’s understand this with an example.

You have created a list called Employee. You have added a few columns like Birthdate, Hobby, Email, Department. The list entry form would look like the following.

 

SharePoint

Now, you have forgotten to add the phone number to the list. So you have again added one more column as Phone Number. So now, your form will look like this.

 

 

SharePoint

 

But, logically and conceptually, Phone Number columns should be below or above Email column. Because Email and Phone Number are both conceptually  Contact Information, they should appear together. So now, your requirement is to reorder the columns and place the Phone Number columns after Email columns. So, what will you think of doing at first glance?

You will delete the Department Column and then add Phone Number column and then recreate the Department column. This will definitely solve your problem but imagine if you have 100 columns and you want to reorder column ten. Now, deleting the column and recreating it is not the real and feasible solution.

For column reordering, SharePoint provides its in-built configurations. Let’s understand this in detail.

Changing the order of columns

In order to change the order of list column, you have to open the List Settings page. To open the list setting page, you have to click on the Settings gear icon and then List Setting link as shown in the below figure.

 

SharePoint

 

Once the list setting page is opened, locate the link called “Column ordering” under “Columns” section.

 

SharePoint

 

Once you click on “Column ordering”, the following column order configuration page will be opened.

 

SharePoint

 

Here, you can see that every column has its own order. Now, we have to reorder the “Phone Number” column after Email column, so select the “Position from Top” as 5 for “Phone Number” columns. Once you have changed the order of “Phone Number” columns, the order to “Department” will be automatically adjusted to 6.

 

SharePoint

Now, click OK. Now again, open the list entry form and now, you will see that your column ordering is changed as per your requirement.

SharePoint

But there is one thing; make sure that this will change the order of the columns in the List entry forms only. While viewing the data, still the original order will be there. For more details, refer to the following screen.

SharePoint

 

In order to change this order, we have to change the Views. I will be explaining this in the upcoming articles in this series.

Other possible ways of column reordering

There are several other ways to maintain the ordering of the columns in the lists and libraries.

  1. If possible, please write all the column lists on paper and then decide the order on the paper itself and then start creating.
  2. You can use the above-specified way to reorder your columns.
  3. If you know how to use SharePoint Designer, then, in that case, you can open the list form in SharePoint Designer and change the order of the columns from there.
  4. You can change the column order in Content Types. (I will be explaining this in the Content-Type section in the upcoming articles).

Summary

So, in this article, I have explained how to reorder your list columns that are accidentally created in any order. So from now onwards, you do not have to worry about the column order while creating any list columns because now you know how to reorder the columns after its creation also. This same applies even when you have assigned the Site Columns to the lists. This will be the same for libraries also.

If you have any questions, then please let me know in the comment section. In the next article, I will be explaining Indexing of Columns and its importance in SharePoint.