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Todd Klindt's home page > Todd Klindt's SharePoint Admin Blog > Posts > One document, multiple Document Libraries
August 20
One document, multiple Document Libraries

Here's another question I see a lot, "Is there a way to have one document in multiple libraries, but have there be a master?" The answer is "sort of." In SharePoint 2007 there is a new concept of "Content types." A content type is kind of like a template for document types you store in libraries. In this case we're going to leverage the "Document Link" content type. You can use it to create a link to a master document in another library or to any URL in general. In this post I'll walk you through how to do it. First, notice your options when creating a new document in a standard Team site Document Library.

We're going to add another option there for your link. Click Settings and then Document Library Settings. You need to access the Advanced Settings for the library, so click that.

Since we need to add a content type, click Yes next to Allow management of content types. Then hit Ok.

Now when you go back to the Document Library settings you'll see a new section, Content Types. Click "Add from existing site content types."

The content type we want to add is "Link to a Document." Click it on the left and click Add to add it. Click Ok.

Now you should see your new content type in the Document Library settings.

Make sure it will be Visible on the New Button

Now when you create a new document in that library you'll have another option under new. Let's check it out.

Go ahead and click it and let's create one. It's just like filling out a favorite in your web browser. Give it a name and a link. In this example I'm linking it to a Word document in another library, but you can put any URL in there, SharePoint doesn't verify it's pointing to another SharePoint location.

Here's what it looks like when you're finished:

Whenever you want you can change the document that the link references without worrying about the links pointing to it. This basically replaces the old "Links Library" in SharePoint 2003.

Enjoy!

tk

Comments

cool

Learned something today. Today, and even the month, not a waste because of that learning.  Thanks!
 on 8/21/2007 3:24 AM

Re: cool

I'm always glad when someone gets something useful from my blog.  :)

tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 8/21/2007 7:01 AM

Metadata

How do you get any custom columns to show up with the Linked Document content type?
 on 8/27/2007 4:22 PM

Re: Metadata

There's no way to extract the metadata from the document being linked to.  As far as SharePoint is concerned you're just pointing at a URL and URLs don't have metadata.  If you want to populate the metadata yourself that is doable.  You'll need to go to the Site Collection Content Type Gallery and add the Site Columns you want to the Link Content Type.  Then alter your Document Library view to show those columns.

tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 8/29/2007 9:51 PM

Editing a Linked doc

If you actually use the document link to link to a doc in another document libray, you seem to lose the edit features that you get with a doc library. So when you click and open a document via a link, then you get a read only copy of the document and not an editable version of the document. Is there any way to create a link that will just behave as a link and still provide the feature of using a document from a doc library?
 on 9/24/2007 10:47 AM

Re: Editing a Linked doc

I don't know of any way to create a copy like you want.  As I've thought about this there *might* be a way to do this with Event Handlers or a workflow, but I think it would get very complicated having multiple read/write versions of a document.

tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 10/11/2007 9:28 AM

Problem with Link to a Document Content type

I have a doc lib where I use the content type, for some items it does link it to the documents, for some other when I click on the Item it takes me to the ASPX page and it is not redirected to the Document itself.
Would Anyone know why I have this behaviour
 on 11/7/2007 2:44 PM

Re: Problem with Link to a Document Content type

I'm not sure what would cause this, sorry.  Maybe somebody else reading this can help out.

tk
Todd O. KlindtNo presence information on 11/8/2007 9:31 AM

Linking to the whole document library

Adding links to documents in other libraries is a tedious process, especially if a library contains many documents and I need to show the exact copy of the content of the library on another site. Is there a chance to add a library with linked docs - exact copy of a document library from a source site?
 on 11/13/2007 6:50 AM

Linking to the whole document library

Are you using MOSS? It is trivial to use the Content Query Web Part to point to another library within the site collection to display a list of documents.

By the way, Todd, nice post. I know it was a while back, but that doesn't make it any less useful. I often use the Content Type to point to a document template, but never had used the Link to a Document function. Still lots to learn as all this gets hashed out.

Regards,
Mark
EndUserSharePoint.com
 on 11/17/2007 8:58 PM
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