Column Reordering In List And Libraries in SharePoint

Introduction

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 onward, 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.

Any question or feedback or suggestion, please do comment and let me know.

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