Our client has SharePoint Online (Enterprise plan) and wants to use a term set for their list of client names. We want the consultants group witin the company to be able to add new terms to that term set themselves.

I have created the term set via the admin center and put the right groups into the administrator and contributor sections. However, when testing: I click on the tags icon next to the term set field and the normal window pops up where you can select an existing term from the set. However, I do not see an option to add or create a new term? Why not? There is only the little "send feedback" link at the top. What am I missing here or doing wrong? How/where can contributors add a new term to the set?

2 Answers 2


You'll need to specify a term set as open to users to be able to add new terms, see https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Introduction-to-managed-metadata-a180fa28-6405-4679-9ec3-81d2028c4efc

In addition, you can configure a term set as closed or open. In a closed term set, users can't add new terms unless they have appropriate permissions. In an open term set, users can add new terms in a column that is mapped to the term set.

Users also need 'Contribute' site-level permission to add terms


A colleague of mine pointed out that the term set needs to be created at the site-collection level in instead of central admin level (which is what I had done) if you want people be able to add terms to the term set. In summary, you need to think about the following:

1) create the term set at the site-collection level

2) set it to "open"

3) add the people/group(s) you want to be able to add terms to the Contributor section.

4) make sure those same people/group(s) have contribute permissions (or higher) on the site where they will be using the term set.

  • You don't need to have it as site-collection level term set. What you need to do is to allow the addition on the column level as well, in addition to making the term set open.
    – Jussi Palo
    Jul 18, 2016 at 12:29

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