Microsoft Lists Fundamentals Part 2

Written: 09/08/2020 | Updated: N/A

Microsoft Lists Fundamentals Part 1

In Part 1 of this fundamentals blog series, we looked at the very basics of Microsoft Lists: how to access lists, how to create a list from a blank list and populate it with new items and columns, how to switch between recent lists and my lists. In addition to looking at how to create lists from existing SharePoint Lists and templates, we looked at how to favourite a list, how to customise list, how to share a list inside and outside the organisation and how to delete a list. We are now going to advance into some more ways we can work and manage Lists, including beginning to surface them into Teams with Flows

This blog with cover

  • Exporting a List to Excel
  • Creating a List from Excel
  • Setting personal alerts on the List
  • How to edit the current view of the List
  • How to quickly reorder columns
  • How to delete columns
  • How to add a new view of the List
  • How to filter and pin filters
  • How to turn off attachments in the title column
  • How to turn off quick editing or prevent downloading the excel
  • How to build a Flow for a list into Teams

WHY WOULD WE DO IT?

  • To create and manage Lists

PREREQUISITES

To use lists, the user will typically need a Microsoft/Office 365 Licence. SharePoint will need to be enabled within the licence. EDGE browser recommended – I am currently using EDGE Canary (86.0.594.0) for the browser experience without issue

EXPORTING A LIST TO EXCEL

1.) On the Lists home page, select the list by clicking on it

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2.) Select Export to Excel

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3.) The list will download as as a .iqy file

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4.) Open the file in Excel

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CREATING A LIST FROM AN EXCEL

The past blog explored creating a List from Blank, from an Existing SharePoint List and from a template. The last method to explore is to create a List from an Excel file

1.) Here I have my List. It is an Equipment List of Teams certified devices. However this list will not upload correctly to Lists. It has to be formatted as a Table which can be easily done via the Insert menu and select Table. Save the Excel file to the desktop or to OneDrive

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2.) In Lists Home select New List

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3.) Select From Excel

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4.) This example is going to upload a file from the desktop. Select Upload File

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5.) Select and open the Saved Excel File

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6.) The file will upload. You will now have an opportunity to select the Table if the excel contains multiple tables, and you will have the opportunity to set the column types which Lists identifies based on the uploaded data. Select Next once done

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7.) Set the name of the List, the description, the icon and where to save the list to (My Lists vs an existing SharePoint Site, then select Create

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8.) The List has been created

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SETTING PERSONAL ALERTS ON THE LIST

You can set up an alert to notified you when the list has been modified

1.) In the List, select More Options (…) next to Power Apps

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2.) Select Alert Me

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3.) Specify the alert settings including who is alerted, what changes produce alerts (I.e. all changes, or delete actions) and when to send the alert. This example below shows that any change by anyone will notify me immediately. Once done select Ok

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4.) The alert is set up. To double check, circle back to More Options (…) and then select Manage Alerts and the alert should be present

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5.) The alert will come through via email

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HOW TO EDIT THE CURRENT VIEW OF A LIST

We may want to optimise the view of our list

1.) In the List, select All Items and then Edit Current View

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2.) There are many options here to modify the view. In this example I have simply flipped the owner and vendor columns and sorted the view based on the owner in an ascending format. Once done select Ok at the bottom of the screen.

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3.) This has made my list a lot more ordered to how I want

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HOW TO QUICKLY REORDER COLUMNS

A quick way to move columns in a list is to simply drag the column left and right of another column. Doing this will edit and save the existing view (See view saved in the top right).

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Columns can also be reordered by selecting cog then list settings and then selecting column ordering. Reorder the columns and select Ok to save

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HOW TO DELETE COLUMNS

We may need to occasionally delete a column

1.) In the List, select cog and then List Settings

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2.) Select the column name

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3.) Scroll to the bottom and then select Delete to delete the column

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HOW TO ADD A NEW VIEW TO THE LIST

In addition to being able to modify the All Items view we can add new views in order to slice up the list, or give us new insights. On this Teams Certified Devices lets say I want to see all apple devices

1.) In the List select All Items and then Save View As

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2.) Set a name (recommended to name the list something which is meaningful) and decide whether the view is public (checked) or private (unchecked). Select Save

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3.) Select the new list name (in this example apple) and then edit current view

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4.) Now this view is to only show people who have apple devices. So I have set the view to filter and show items only where the apple is the vendor in the vendor column. Once done I select ok

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5.) The new view shows what I want, but now the ‘Apple’ view sits alongside the ‘All Items’ view and I can change between the views easily as well as set one of the views as default simply by going to the view dropdown

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HOW TO FILTER AND PIN FILTERS

As well as new views, we can also manage and slice Lists via Filters. Filters are based upon column names as well as the items within those columns, so filtering can get pretty granular

1.) To open and apply a filter, simply select the filter icon and check the item to produce a filtered list

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2.) To pin a specific set of filters to the top of the filters select More Options (…) next to the name of the column and then select Pin. The pinned set of filters will then appear at the top of the filters

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HOW TO TURN OFF ATTACHMENTS IN THE TITLE COLUMN

It is often been recommended by SharePoint pros to turn off attachments in SharePoint Lists – usually due to compliance reasons and/or that document libraries are designed to handle files. Lists also have the ability to attach files to the title column. Some administrators may want to turn this off for continuity purposes or for the reasons above

1.) In the list select cog and then List Settings

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2.) Select Advanced Settings

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3.) Disable attachment’s, scroll to the bottom and select Ok. Note if you disable attachments after adding attachments it will delete them. When you now go to add an item there will be no opportunity to add an attachment

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HOW TO TURN OFF QUICK EDITING

Turning off quick editing may be required to prevent human error, especially having shared the list. This will restrict editing items to a one by one basis

1.) In the list select cog and then List Settings

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2.) Select Advanced Settings

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3.) Scroll down the page and turn off the Quick Property Editing. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Ok

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4.) The quick edit button has now disappeared from the list

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HOW TO BUILD A FLOW FOR A LIST INTO TEAMS

The great thing about Lists is that it has been designed to work seamlessly with the Power Platform and interact with other Microsoft 365 applications. I will be writing a blog later on several flows to use with Lists. This one is going to be a very simple flow for notifying a Team when a new List item has been created

1.) In the List, select Automate then Power Automate then Create a Flow

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2.) Whilst the create a flow box will suggest a number of flow templates out of the box the flow we want to create is not there, select see your flows

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3.) Select Create

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4.) Select Automated Flow

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5.) Name the Flow and select the SharePoint trigger When an Item is created then select create

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6.) First step is to add the URL of the SharePoint Site which houses the lists. This is the first part of the List page URL. Set the List itself and then select New Step

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7.) Second step is to create a Get Item action to get the item from the List. Again, enter the Site URL and List as well as enter ID in the ID field. Select New Step

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8.) Add a Teams action called Post a Message (V3) that will post a message of the newly added List Item’s details to a Teams Channel. Populate the Team, the Channel and in the body add the dynamic content pulled from the previous action. Once done, select Save

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9.) Now when a new item is added to the List the Team will be notified about it

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Awesome!

 

 

 

 

 

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