How to Create Lists and List Templates in SharePoint 2013

This article will show you how to create and configure a SharePoint list, both ‘out of the box’ and using list templates. Lists are logical groupings of related data, and a fundamental building block to storing data in SharePoint. Similar to an SQL table we can define lists as different columns with different data types.

Popular columns types include single lines of text, multiple lines of text, choices, date fields, and hyperlinks. Each list can have any number of columns. A list can be easily created using SharePoint’s default content types, such as links, announcements, contacts or calendars, to name only a few. Each content type has its own default set of columns, which can be used, deleted and modified to fulfill a user’s requirements.

Create an ‘Out of the Box’ List:

  • On your own SharePoint site navigate to the Settings gear icon and click ‘Add an app’

  • Next, click on ‘Custom List’ as shown

  • At the prompt enter a name for this list, and click ‘Ok.’ To see the list that you have just created navigate to the Settings gear icon, and then down to ‘Site contents.’ If the list was created successfully it should be visible among your site’s other contents.

Create a List Using List Templates:

Not let’s see how to create a list using list templates. In SharePoint it is relatively common to have already created a list, and then use it again elsewhere.

When we create a list ‘out of the box,’ we can then save a list template from it. We can then reuse this template to create further lists of a similar structure.

  • Navigate to the Settings gear icon and click ‘Site contents’
  • Click on ellipsis of the respective list, then click on ‘Settings’ as shown below

  • Click on ‘Save list as template’ under ‘Permissions and Management’

  • After clicking ‘Save list as template’ a prompt to enter a ‘File name,’ ‘Template name’ and ‘Template description’ will appear. As we can see in the below screen, there is a provision to include content. If you need data from the existing list to be a part of this new template, then check “Include Content” and finally click ‘Ok.’ The new template will be given an ‘.stp’ file extension and will be stored in list templates gallery.

  • To see or use the template, Navigate to the Settings gear icon, then ‘Site settings.’ Next, under ‘Web Designer Galleries’ you can see all the ‘List templates’ that are available

    Note: The ‘List templates’ will be visible only at top level site settings

  • Now you can create lists at any site level. From this point onwards the process for creating lists from list templates is more or less similar to using the ‘out of the box’ feature. Navigate to the Settings gear icon, then ‘Site contents.’ Under ‘Apps you can add’ there will be the list template just created.

  • Click on the template, provide a name for the new list and finally click ‘Ok.’ You will see a new list being created with same list schema, and also data if you selected “Include Content” when creating the list template originally.

To better understand these concepts, create many list templates from various ‘out of the box’ lists, along with different column types and inputted data. SharePoint is heavily dependent on list creation and usage, so mastering this skill early on is vital to your success in SharePoint.

August 13, 2014


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