Customising the “New” button on a SharePoint document library

This content is 3 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

Microsoft SharePoint gets a lot of bad press, but that’s largely down to organisations that use old versions “out of the box” and don’t try to make it work for them. Even worse, they don’t keep the platform up-to-date and wonder why their SharePoint 2010 intranet looks so old fashioned…

This post isn’t an advert for SharePoint. Sure, it has its foibles but it can also be pretty useful and it is not going away any time soon. In fact, SharePoint is a key workload in Office 365 and it underpins both Microsoft Teams and OneDrive for Business. So, let’s try to embrace it and make it work for us… to make life a little more simple.

One of the things we’ve had in place for a while now in risual Consulting is a custom New menu on the document library that contains our templates. If I go to create a new document, what I see is this:

Our menu has a selection of different document types, each with their own template.

To set this up, all I have to do (as a site owner) is click the Edit New menu option and then select or re-order items:

To add new templates to the list, just use Add template. I’m not sure where SharePoint stores the templates, because they don’t appear in the list of documents in the library.

As I write this, I’m considering removing the capability from our team site… because new documents get created as Document1, Document2, etc. in the document library, and we have a much more precise naming convention to enforce, but it’s still a really useful feature that’s worth calling out.

There’s more information about customising the navigation on a SharePoint site on the Microsoft website.

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