We are moving away from folder structure in SP2013, but exactly dont know how to implement the metadata solution. I apologize if this question has been answered before. Honestly I'm short on time to search for tutorials. Thats why I'm here for quick leads to articles or videos.

We are trying to mimic a multi-level folder tree structure such that the subfolder selection list depends on the main folder chosen. For example when the user is adding a document they get a countries list to choose from. If they select the "folder" USA then they get to select "subfolders" like New York, Los Angeles, Houston etc. If they select UK then they get the list of cities like London, Birmingham, Liverpool etc.
How can this be implemented? Thanks.


You can add columns to your document library in two ways. Either via document library settings and proceed to add columns, or you can create a new Content Type. Creating columns in a document library is effectively giving you the ability to add metadata for every document in a document library.

If you create a Content Type you then need to associate it with your document library. Here's a guide that you can follow:


When creating your content type ensure you select Document as the Parent Content Type.

So in your scenario you will might have a column for Country and another column for City. Both of these columns will be of type "Choice" and this will show up as a drop down list of countries and cities.

The other part of your requirement, by the sounds of it, is "cascading drop downs". This means if the user was to select UK from the Country drop down list, then the City drop down list would only show UK cities. This functionality isn't generally available out of the box in SharePoint. You will need to find a third party solution to achieve this.

  • thanks for the solution, but not interested in third party product. I guess we will stay with folder unless someone else has to add anything. Menahile I am thinking of a solution myself. Will let you all know if it works.
    – Aamir
    Mar 4 '15 at 17:38
  • You can still get rid of folder structures in favour of metadata. The down side without cascading drop downs will be there will not be any drop down filtering, i.e. the user can select any country and any city. But if they choose UK as the country, one would think they would have enough common sense to choose a UK city.
    – Submits
    Mar 4 '15 at 17:42
  • Good point. By the way the country-city example was just a, well example :) Otherwise our folder tree is 3-4 levels deep and is using business related categories for naming folders. It will not be possible for a user to put the document in the right folder without the help of cascading dropdowns.
    – Aamir
    Mar 4 '15 at 17:58
  • Well if you're willing to get your hands dirty and use a (free) JavaScript solution to achieve cascading drop downs, try this one (which I have previously used with success): spjsblog.com/2013/08/20/… . Scroll down and start reading from the "Used as a standalone solution" section.
    – Submits
    Mar 4 '15 at 18:01
  • I came up with a simple solution by adding a dropdown choice column to the library that is essentially the folder tree. Depending on which choice (folder) they select from the dropdown list, a workflow sets the appropriate content type for that document. I didn't implement this solution because at the end I realized that SP2013 does not support grouping (in the view) that is deeper than 2 levels.
    – Aamir
    Mar 5 '15 at 5:01

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