SharePoint Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for SharePoint enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have some user guides in PDF and DOC/X format on SharePoint for users to view; no end user would upload any new ones or edit existing. Should we use a document library or a list with links to the files? Thanks.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd just use a document library for that. You can craft various content types if needed to help classify the documents, if needed.

The list approach will just end up in a duplication of content and permissions. Maintainers will have to ensuree the links list is up to date if a file gets renamed or added. Permissions will have to be kept on 2 places.

Is there a particular requirement that you have that prompted this question?

share|improve this answer
Thanks, @PirateEric. We're new to SharePoint and have a bunch of PDFs and Word docs that users will read for instructions on how to do various tasks. We built the solution using what we knew -- lists, but now doc libraries look promising and we're wondering how much work it is to switch and if there's a compelling reason to do so. From what you're saying, it is best practice to go with doc libraries. – Alex C Nov 2 '11 at 13:01
By the way, should we create different content types as you indicated? We might want to later show an aggregated view of all these docs from all sites. Thanks. – Alex C Nov 2 '11 at 13:38
It's always helpful if you have different pieces of metadata for each type of content. If the metadata is the same for each piece of information, you don't necessarily need different content types. One content type with a "Type of Content" choice column would be sufficient to help group content. – Eric Alexander Nov 2 '11 at 13:59
Thanks, @PirateEric. That makes sense. We will have different types of docs but not metadata: same metadata for all of them. That makes very good sense. – Alex C Nov 2 '11 at 14:03
You can add a URL into the Title field so long as it isn't more than 255 characters and SharePoint is smart enough to turn it into a clickable hyperlink. – Eric Alexander Nov 2 '11 at 14:52

Ditto on @PirateEric. Also, including the documents in SharePoint will include them in Search (easily). You could add another search content source to index a file share, but why bother when you can just upload it directly into SharePoint?

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.