How to Link a List Item to a Document Library Document

Posted By Posted by: Dan Stopher on June 5, 2014

At EPM Partners we help organisations get the most from their Project Server solutions and we frequently configure custom lists on the project site.

For example an organisation may wish to record Project Requirements in a site list. SharePoint makes it easy to create such a list to store this sort of data, however often the question arises of how to store related documentation.

There are a couple of options:

  1. If the document relates to that specific requirement, only then the document can be attached to the item directly. Most users are familiar with the “Attach File” option from the actions menu.
  2. However if the document relates to multiple requirements then the first approach represents unnecessary duplication (and misuse of storage space). In this case a more efficient approach is to upload the document to the document library and then link to it from the custom list. To do this I would create a custom column in the Requirements list called “Related Documentation” that uses the “Lookup (information already on the site)” column type. In the “Get information form:” select the document library you wish to link to – you can only link to a SINGLE DOCUMENT LIBRARY

A configuration in the below screen shot:

 Linking Documents in Project Server and SharePoint
Will result in the below list options:

Linking Documents in Project Server and SharePoint

Some users complain however that after configuring the above they still can’t link to all the documents – in some cases they can’t link to any documents at all!!

Normally this is a result of the documents stored in the document library having a “Name” but not a “Title”. By default the Title property of a document is not mandatory and many users – not understanding the purpose of the Title field – ignore it. For that reason I tend to add a description to the custom field (highlighted above) this reminds users to complete the Title property for each document if they wish to link to it from a lookup field. Another approach is to use a custom workflow to populate the title field automatically with the same value as the file name – but that is a subject for another blog….

Hope that you find this tip useful. If you have any other tips comments related to the above please leave them as comments  below.


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