Working with Views in SharePoint


Having different Views in your SharePoint lists & libraries can be very useful. It allows you to see information in a different way pretty quickly, and remove the noise. In this post, we’ll have a look at the available options so you can choose what’s best for you!  

Default View

Out of the box, SharePoint sets the default view to “All items” for lists, and “All Documents” for libraries. Meaning there’s no specific filtering. However, the default for Libraries will see documents in alphabetical order (with folders at the top), which is not the case for Lists items.

Other built-in Views are also available and slightly differ for Lists or Libraries.  

Lists (List, Compact List, Gallery)


Libraries (List, Compact List, Tiles)


You can modify the default view by making changes while on it, and select “Save view as” or create a new View and set it as the default.  

Personal Views
Personal Views cannot be set as default.

Create a new View

You can create a new view in different ways. We have the ‘old’ way which we’re familiar with, by clicking on the gear icon –> List/Library settings –> Create View (at the bottom) OR simply click on All Documents/Items –> Create new View.

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At the time of writing this post (January 2020), while the latter (All Documents/Items –> Create new View) is faster in terms of clicking less, it doesn’t offer you the choice to select the fields for your new view. And therefore, you still need to Edit the view. Bringing you back to same location as if you went down the road of the gear icon –> List/Library settings –> Create View.


Edit the current View

To Edit a View, we also have a couple of ways to do it. Both methods will land you in the same location. Either you are already on the View you wish to change, and in that case you can select All Documents/Items –> Edit current view.

If you wish to modify another view, select the View from All Documents/Items –> Edit current view and follow the process above, OR click on the gear icon –> List/Library settings –> Click on the view name (at the bottom of the page).

From there, you can select/deselect the fields you want to show in your view.  

Format the current View

The Format current View option is available for both Lists & Libraries. It allows you to apply basic formatting changes making your data stand out. However, there are a few differences depending if you are on a List or a Library.

Advanced Mode
Each list/library also has an “Advanced Mode” at the bottom of each blade (right panel) if you wish to insert your own code.


For a List, you can format Views & Columns from two (2) separate tabs.

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Format columns menu
The dropdown in “Format columns” will ONLY show the fields in the current View.


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Customise Views

A great way to customize views in SharePoint is to use grouping, filtering, hide folders, and more!

When creating a new view, the first step is to choose the fields you want to display (i.e.: Created By, Version, ID, etc…). It’s best to only show what’s needed and not clutter the views from a performance perspective.

Some popular views are using filtering where we use conditions. IF this equals AND/OR etc…. It can become very powerful. Grouping (screenshot below) is also widely used because the display looks structured. Group by customer (column) or by product (another column) for example.


Last option I want to talk about is Folders.

You have the possibility to display the content without folders (flat). It doesn’t mean your folders are deleted! SharePoint simply hides the folders to show only the documents.


Choosing this option will result in the following:

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Take the time to create Views, they will be very useful when you need to visualize data rapidly!