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We're on SP2019 and wondering how we might go about creating a custom "form" for a document library. If we were on SP Online then I know PowerApps would be the answer here, but is SPFx the way forward for this? And if so, does it work the same way as creating a custom property pane for a webpart? The two seem similar, but I don't quite understand how I'd customise the details pane.

The problem we're trying to solve, is that our business will have LOTS of content types (for better or worse). So we'd like to produce a "cascading dropdown" to group these content types to make selection of the correct content type easier for the user.

We do have Nintex Forms, but I find the Nintex forms experience jarring in modern libraries. I'm certain our users will be keener on editing a documents properties in the Details Pane, rather than having to open the item menu > More > Properties then wait for the form to load, then have to put the form into Edit mode, fill it in, and then save it.

Compared to the property pane, I think that's pretty horrific.

Thoughts and suggestions welcome please and TIA

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In SharePoint 2019, you can't customize the list item form and keep the panel at the same time. This is very unfortunate.

If you want to customize you forms, you have these options:

  • Nintext Forms. If you already have them, then it's the easiest option in your case.
  • Add a CEWP to the DispForm.aspx. Hide the OOB webpart with CSS. You can use generator-sppp to develop this form. This is very similar to using SPFx, but it works with SP 2013, 2016 and 2019 unlike SPFx. The bonus of this approach is that it will survive migration to SharePoint Online when it comes to it.
  • Using SPFx is also possible, but it won't give you any benefits in SharePoint 2019, in your case.

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