I discovered the power of column default values as a way to get users to use metadata tags without having to tag the docs themselves. While this is great for new documents added to folders where I changed the CDV, is there a non-intrusive way of adding the new CDVs to the documents and folders already there?

Background: we've developed a centralized administered, closed taxonomy and created term sets. The terms in these sets will be new Column Default Values for folders in the SharePoint library hierarchies (people love folders). The problem is getting already existing documents to adopt the new term tag.

I know I can use Explorer View, and copy/paste documents back into the library. Is there an easier (and less manual) way of doing this?

Thanks alot for any help you can lend.

1 Answer 1


I'd do this through a quick workflow. Set the workflow to fire on document change, and set the workflow to change your column to the default value. Once you've got the workflow published, create a new temporary column and populate it in datasheet/quick edit view just to trigger the workflow (and thereby changing your default value). Once it has all completed, remove the temporary column.

The only downside of this is that your Modified By value will change to whomever modifies the temporary column, but if that isn't a huge deal, it's a quick and easy way to get the job done.

  • This is a great answer! Thank you very much. I'm going to build the workflow now.
    – aoe2
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 19:18

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