I'm wondering if it's possible to use an existing document library from the topsite/site collection as a central point, where all documents are stored, and then access this library from any subsite. I simply don't want to spread documents all over the sharepoint, instead I want to have this central library which everyone is accessing.

What I found out so far is that I could use a Content Query, but this would just show a really simple list with the latest files. In fact I'd like to have a library but set a reference to the central one to have it as a source.

I thought this is one of the main points of sharepoint.

  • Document Library on Topsite can be accessible from subsites, you just need to configur permissions right – Melad Batta Mar 24 '17 at 9:28
  • @MeladFrancis Could you provide me more details? – FredM Mar 24 '17 at 9:30

I used to do this all the time. Seems like it was much easier in SharePoint 2007 and 2010. This answer from Anatoly Mironov might still apply to SharePoint Online. Give it a shot. If it works for you, make sure to give him an upvote! Also he has created an even easier way to export a webpart (works for List View webparts as well). You can then upload the web part to the web part catalog and use it like any other webpart.

Glyn Clough has a nice solution for exporting xsltlistviewwebpart

Update 2014-09-19

I have found another way to easily export any web part from a SharePoint page, without needing to update web part properties:

Here is the most important text from the blog post:

In SharePoint there is a hidden application page that exports web parts: /_vti_bin/exportwp.aspx. This page takes two query parameters:

  • pageurl. The absolute url of the page where the web part resides that you want to export
  • guidstring. The guid that is called webpartid in the markup on the page

So, suppose, you have this site: https://intranet.contoso.com and a web part (id: 0c3adfe9-8f5d-4432-918a-42410e4e324d) on a page https://intranet.contoso.com/Pages/default.aspx

This will be the resulting URL to export your webpart:


Paste it into the web browser address bar and you'll download an xml file with your web part definition. This method works in SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 and even in SharePoint Online (Office 365).

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  • Thank you for the links, so far! Did you saw the bookmarklet from him? Anyway, did you encountered an error like:"List doesn't exists" after you've tried to place the exported webpart on a site? That's what I'm facing with right now. – FredM Mar 24 '17 at 15:45
  • What version of SharePoint are you using? – James Grizzle Mar 24 '17 at 16:39
  • I'm using Sharepoint Online. – FredM Mar 24 '17 at 16:40
  • I was using the bookmarklet to get the file. But I had the thought, that maybe I'm using it on the wrong page to obtain the file. Already contacted the author, but had no reply yet. – FredM Mar 24 '17 at 16:42
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    I wonder if they changed something that broke this functionality. I'm looking for other ways to display the list from a top site and the examples I see aren't going to work for SharePoint Online. Maybe it makes sense to cut your losses and go with a Content Search Web Part. sharepointnutsandbolts.com/2012/10/… – James Grizzle Mar 24 '17 at 16:49

First you need to link your Document Library on SideNavigation inside all subsites you want. it'll look like this

enter image description here

now to make this labrary accessible you need to add/create subsites groups inside the library, you can do it by going into library setting --> then click on "Permissions for this document library" ther you'll be able to put those groups... like this

enter image description here

then all users on those subsites will be able to add/create documents

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  • Thank you for your help, Melad Francis. However my questions wasn't about the permissions itself, but about a deeper connection to an existing document library from a document library of a subsite. I'd appreciate if you'd reread my post. Maybe you can still help me out. – FredM Mar 24 '17 at 9:55

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