I know this is a really basic question, so I'm sorry in advance for my ignorance.

I want to be able to add an Excel Spreadsheet as a content type for a document library (also PowerPoint presentation and OneNote Notebook types), but I can't seem to find them in the existing site content types. I assume they are there already because the default document library has access to them (or at least allows you to create those file types by default).

I wanted to ask before I create new content types for Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

Thanks in advance for the help.

1 Answer 1


When you create a standard document library in SharePoint you can set the document type it will use to Word, Excel etc - However it's not using different content types there, instead it's just setting the template used in that Library by the Document content type. With SharePoint 2013 Microsoft introduced the create new document option at the top of the library views were you can select Word, Excel etc. However this again is not using content types to achieve this. You could be cheeky here and say Microsoft are not following their own guidelines:-)

I'm guessing you want to give the users the option of creating new Word, Excel etc content types from the New menu? To do this you do, as you suggest, need to create new content types for each document type you want to make available.

We do this ourselves using something like this with site collection content types that are then applied to all libraries:

  • eDocument - Word Template (Default).
  • Excel - Excel Template.
  • PowerPoint - PowerPoint Template.


This tends to work quite well because when users upload documents they go against eDocument which is a relatively generic name. If they just click New it creates a Word document but they do have the option of creating Excel or PowerPoint documents directly as well from the New menu. The trick is obviously keeping the metadata the same for all the content types.

  • thanks, I really appreciate it. What kind of metadata are related to the content types? (sorry for the noobish question)
    – jphager2
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 12:01
  • Should have used the term column instead of metadata to make it clearer. Basically what I meant was make sure all those content types are setup with the same columns in the same order in a library as otherwise users will get confused, moan etc:-) Just something to be careful of when adding columns and altering the order they are displayed because you have to change the order in each content type. Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 21:13

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