Teams Real Simple with Pictures: New Files Experience – Adding a Custom View to the Team

This blog is part of a series on Teams. For more articles, check back often. 

Written: 31/10/2019 | Updated: N/A

We started out examining the new rich file experience which has come to Teams (Full Blog here) by looking at pinning and unpinning files. Today, I am going to tackle adding a custom view to a Team. A custom view may be something the team, or a member of the team needs such as only seeing excels in an A-Z format. Custom views make it easier for users to arrange, search and use files in a way that makes sense to them. The new file experience gives us the option to create many custom views, both public (for the team) and private (for the individual) and in the initial stage of the Teams lifecycle, it is a great to consider this. It is also great that they apply across all channels in a Team, so it’s not making this task too granular or repetitive.

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • For arranging, searching and easily accessing Files in a way that makes sense
  • For a quicker and more accessible way to locate specific files
  • To parse out a lot of white noise in the standard all documents view

PREREQUISITES

Users need Teams and SharePoint licences – usually via Office/Microsoft 365.  The Owner of the Team will need to configure the custom view in SharePoint.

HOW?

At the time of writing, and having tested this several times since the functionality was added (in both the desktop and web client) it is important to note that when first clicking the Files Tab in a Channel Teams will always default to a view where all documents are arranged by Modified date in ascending order. In other words, even if the custom view which we create is set as the default (or the all documents view is edited) in SharePoint Teams still overrides it. So at the time of writing custom views have to be manually selected via the view menu at the top right of the files tab to work. I am sure that this will be resolved in time and Teams will honor the SharePoint default view. The ability to set A-Z by default either by a defaulted custom view or modifying the All Documents view is what many users are after on uservoice and in the Microsoft Tech Community.

1.) We are going to create a custom view which shows

  • Excels only
  • In A-Z ascending order

In the Teams client, select the Channel of the Team and then select the Files tab. As shown the files are all arranged by Modified Date (the default view Teams uses when first clicking on the Files Tab). Select All Documents in the top right hand corner

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2.) Select Save View As

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5.) Name the custom View (In this case Excel A-Z) and tick make this a public view and select Save (otherwise it will be a private and personal view)

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6.) The new view is now created. Select Open in SharePoint 

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7.) Select Cog and then Library Settings

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8.) Scroll to the bottom, select the new view (in this case Excel A-Z) via Views

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9.) This is where the parameters of the custom view are set. The requirement is to arrange A-Z ascending and show only Excels. To do this set the Sort parameter to sort files by Name A-Z ascending and to only use this criteria (tick box). Set the Filter parameter to show only Name as containing .xlsx. It is optional to set the mobile view (and custom views are not currently supported in the Teams Mobile App). Once done select Ok

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Our job here is done.

Return to Files under the Team Channel (recommended to switch out and back to  the Files tab if you are already in it), select the custom view (Here Excel A-Z) from the top right hand under All Documents and the files will be displayed as needed.

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This can be used in conjunction with pinning and unpinning files and both sharing and bulk checking in/checking out which we will explore in separate blogs

Works in list, compact or tile views.

Enjoy 😀

NOTES AT THE TIME OF WRITING

  • Custom views apply across all channels in a Team
  • Custom views are not currently supported in the Teams Mobile App
  • Custom views don’t appear to be applicable to multiple teams or transferable across Teams
  • Even if the custom view is set as default in SharePoint, Teams still defaults to its view of all documents by modified date. I am sure that many people will raise about Teams honouring the default view of the document library

 

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