SharePoint per-location view defaults (capabilities, limitations & pitfalls)
Posted by Cameron Dwyer
This article describes some of the capabilities, limitations, and pitfalls of using SharePoint per-location view settings to set default views. The per-location view settings require the Metadata Navigation and Filtering site feature to be activated. To activate this go to Site Settings | Manage site features
Now activate the Metadata Navigation and Filtering feature
Now on the library settings page you should see the per-location view settings link, the rest of this article is concerned with how these settings work.
The expectation I had of SharePoint per-location view defaults settings was to be able to set a different default view on any folder in the library. The settings page allows you to assign a specific view to be used as the default for any single folder anywhere in the library folder hierarchy. It goes even further any allows selection of which view to hide/show when inside any specific folder, and even further it allows inheritance of these settings down into subfolders. Unfortunately with all this promise and expectation I was left seriously wanting.
The per-location view settings page provides a tree on the left to browse (and select) any folder within the library structure. The options on the right side of the page apply to the selected folder in the tree.
Here’s the (fictitious) background on what I’m trying to achieve. I have a Document Library setup with the following folders
Now I need to satisfy the following two requests from the Finance department:
1 – They need the folders under the Finance Folder to be sorted reverse chronological (i.e. 2014 at the top, then 2013, 2012…). All other folders within the library need to stay sorted the way they are.
2- They need all documents under the Finance/<year> folders to be grouped by the person that created the document. Other areas of the business (HR, IT, Operations do not want documents in their folders to be grouped)
So I’ve gone ahead and created a new view called ‘Finance Folders’ to show the Finance folders sorted as per the requirement, and also a view called ‘By Created’ to group documents by the Creator.
For my requirements, I wanted to set a default view at the Finance folder level to be a view called ‘Finance Folders’. So I select the Finance folder in the tree, then on the right side select the Finance Folders view in the list of available views. To make the Finance Folders view the default view (to use just within the selected Finance folder) click the ‘Make Finance Folders the default view at this location’ link.
I was a little surprised that after making this change, when I returned to the library and navigated to the Finance folder nothing had changed. I was still looking at the All Documents view. SharePoint had just ignored my setting. What was going on, after a bit of experimenting I just could not get SharePoint to take on the setting. I also tried the other obvious option available to me on the per-location setting window. I removed all views from the Finance folder except the one I wanted to use as the default view.
Save those changes and head back to the library filled with anticipation… no change.
Some searching soon uncovered this gem of a Microsoft Support Article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2806007:
Per-location view settings do not work at the folder level in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint 2010
I had to scratch my head. What’s the point of per location defaults if they don’t work at the folder level? That just leaves the root level of the library and I have been able to set a default view at this level since before SharePoint was called SharePoint.
It seems the per-location view settings only work if the library is configured to use tree view navigation (Library Settings | Metadata Navigation Settings). If you aren’t using the tree view style navigation these per-location defaults are just ignored.
Ok, so I’ve accepted this limitation, after all I did have to activate the Metadata Navigation and Filtering feature to get it available in this first place. So I’m going to move on and see if I can get a workable solution by switching the navigation of this library over to using the tree.
I was expecting to find a simple on/off setting somewhere to switch the navigation over, but it turned out to be a bit more cryptic than that. In the library settings click on the Metadata navigation settings.
I looked over the default settings and they seemed to be exactly what I wanted. A navigation tree where the navigation hierarchy is driven by the Folders, with no Key Filters configured.
Perfect, click Ok and back to the library.
I see no navigation tree.
I go back to the settings, maybe it needs at least one key filter configured, so I tried adding the Created By field as a key filter.
This time I see something different when I browse the library, I can now see the filter. But still no navigation tree.
Is it because my Managed Metadata service has a problem… no.
Is it because I haven’t enabled the Enterprise Keywords column on this library… no.
Is it because my items don’t have any managed metadata columns… no.
Is it because I haven’t created any items and actually assigned values to managed metadata columns this is causing SharePoint to suppress the tree… no.
It seems that you only get the navigation tree if your selected hierarchy fields includes another field in addition to Folders. Just including Folders (which is the default) isn’t enough to get the navigation tree to show.
Now with the Document Type column added to the navigation hierarchy when I browse to the library I finally see the navigation tree. Unfortunately I’m also stuck with the Document Type as a navigation node and I can’t find a way to get rid of it without losing my navigation tree again.
The solution is losing appeal fast by this stage, but we’ve come this far so we might as well see if the per-location defaults actually work now we have managed to get the navigation tree visible.
If I click on the Finance folder in the navigation tree then I do get my Finance Folders showing as the default view, hooray per-location defaults do work.
A problem in the UI with what I’m trying to achieve is immediately apparent though. The Finance department wanted the folders under Finance to be sorted reverse chronologically, which we have now managed to do using the per-location default view, but we have changed the navigation metaphor to a tree and you can clearly see on the tree under the Finance folder that the subfolders and they are in the wrong order. Now the navigation metaphor has changed I’d expect users to get to the year folders using the tree and I don’t have any control over changing the order of them in the tree! I’m concluding that per-location view defaults is in no way helping me solve the business requirement of providing a custom view of folders at any level of the folder hierarchy.
Let’s move on to the second requirement which was to use the ‘By Created’ view as the default view for the Finance/<year> folders. If I select the 2012 folder in the tree I can get the ‘By Created’ view to show by default.
It’s not all good news though. If I select the Finance folder in the tree, and then select the 2012 folder from the view (instead of from the tree like I did last time)
I don’t the ‘By Created’ view by default, again my per-location default view is just ignored.
It seems the per-location view defaults only work if you select the location directly from the metadata navigation tree.
The conclusion I’m drawing from this little foray into using the per-location view settings to drive folder level default views is that its use is limited and may actually create more confusion for users with inconsistent default views based on how the user navigated to the folder. Let’s hope we see some improvement to this area in future.
If you are looking for more robust ways of setting default views at the folder level then please read this article:
About Cameron DwyerArchitect and developer at OnePlace Solutions. Passionate about delivering compelling solutions on the Office 365/SharePoint platform. Addicted to coffee.
Posted on December 4, 2013, in Office, SharePoint and tagged Default Views, Folder Default Views, Metadata navigation, per-location view defaults, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.