I am working on SharePoint Online team site collection. And we have many document libraries that we want end users to be able to add keywords inside them. Now I want the approach to have the following main capabilities:-

  1. The ability for end users to manage the keyword predefined list (add, edit, delete keywords)
  2. The approach should work inside the document libraries managed metadata navigation and filtering feature.
  3. User-friendly approach for end users, to allow them to easily add keywords to the documents,

Now I find these 3 main approaches inside SharePoint:-

  1. Choice
  2. Lookup
  3. Managed metadata

But none of these approaches work 100% as I wanted..

  1. Choice. Have a good user-experience where users can easily select the keywords + it will work with managed metadata navigation.. But the main drawback is that managing the choices’ options will require admin permission on the site level.. Which is not something I can provide to end users!!

  2. Lookup. Also have good user-experience where users can easily select the keywords. And end users can manage the choices.. But the main drawback is that it will not work inside the managed metadata navigation and filtering.

  3. Managed metadata. we can define certain end users to be term group contributor, so they will be able to manage the terms + will work well with managed metadata navigation and filtering + if we add new document libraries on another site collection I can still use the same terms (more enterprise solution compared to the other 2 approaches).. but the drawback I found, is that for end users they find it somehow difficult to select terms inside the term selection dialog.

So to be honest I find that managed metadata is the closest one, but the problem is that I received many complaints from end users that it is no easy for them to select the terms. And they always say why not to just have a drop-down menu to choose from !!!

So I am trying to find a way to improve the managed metadata approach for end-users.. Now inside the modern interface,i find this promising feature, is that if I double click on the keyword managed metadata field, I will get a couple of terms auto-completed as follow (5 terms):-

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But can I show all the terms? so users can double click on the keyword field and they will get all the terms shown??,, instead of having to click on the term icon and then select the terms inside the term selection dialog, which is not very user-friendly !! especially end users cannot see all the available terms inside the term selection dialog, unless they manually navigate through the terms !!

  • 1
    Isn't it a trade off? You could limit the number of terms to 5 (not likely to work in the real world) or teach them to use the type ahead or use the selection dialog, which imho is the best option for hieratical terms, at least the first few times May 19, 2018 at 13:31
  • @KasperBoLarsen can you please explain your message in more details please?
    – John John
    May 19, 2018 at 22:56
  • I think that the current interface for taxonomy fields is as good as it gets, and cover most scenarios rather well. The idea to list all terms as a dropdown sounds like a good idea at first, but often the term set contains way to many items for that to be a good option. I often suggests to show the end user how to use the selection dialog AND how to use the type ahead. A great way to win over the users could be the case where the term set contains the term "Non Disclosure Agreement'' and the alias “NDA", so they get the proper wording by typing only the short phrase May 20, 2018 at 7:02

1 Answer 1


If you expect an kind of hieratical structure, use the term store. If you plan on using the field as a refiner or using the rest API, use the term store ( the lookup is a bitch is those cases)

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