I am working with a consultant on helping us with our SharePoint rollout.

One of the things I am really trying to get my head around is that he is a big believer in having only one content type per document library. He is trying to explain to me that the data will be normalized, and that views and forms will work better in this way.

Can anyone shed any light on this methodology? I haven't come across this in any of my research so far.


4 Answers 4


No there's no such thing as data/forms is getting normalized if you use a single content type in a document library.

There are of course technical limitations on how many content types (and columns) you can have in one list/library but more often it's about "usability".


My research, specifically relating to usability of SharePoint leads to limiting the number of content types used on a library, specifically form library. This is due to the fact that when a user needs to ad to the library (or submit a form which is embedded as a content type) overpopulating the list will decrease usability.


There is no such limitations. But I will suggest to have related content types as a part of List/Library.

i.e. Contact List can have CT such as 'Quick Contact' and 'Full Contact'


He may be referring to the fact that custom "views" (beyond the "all documents" view) need to share common columns to be useful - but I don't think it is a valid approach considering:

  • You can share column definition across content types
  • You can inherit from a common content type parent

I typically have 10 or so content types in a document library, but most of them share similar columns and inherit from one 'master' content type.

If you stay with one content type, you'll likely reinvent the content type concept by adding a column called 'document type' to your documents anyway.... :)

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