I have a document library. I want to be able to add supporting documents to a document(I am using a custom content type based on document). Ideally I would like to add them as attachments so everything is contained in one place.

Sadly I don’t think is possible.

What ways can you think of to be able to upload additional documents to a content type?

I am happy to do some coding just need to be pointed in the right direction.


I will try and explain the problem in more detail.

I have a document that needs to go through an approval process. This document may need some evidence in the form of supporting documents to confirm what the document content is correct i.e. If facts and figures are included the source document for the facts and figures should be included as well.

I understand that document sets allow the grouping of documents however I don’t believe you can highlight one document as being the main. You could add a column to say if main document and make sure only 1 document in the set is set. However I think the UX would be more complex for the user as they need to do things in multiple steps.

I am currently leaning towards creating a Custom Field type that can handle the file upload. Store the document in a separate list. I then have control of the look and feel.

I don’t know if it possible to auto generate a folder in document library (using the Doc ID of the document as the folder name). Then include a web part in the view and edit form to show the document library in that folder.

  • 3
    As an explanation for why this is (this comment has no real value in answering, it's just a point) - this is the main difference between an Item and a Document - an Item can have many attachments whereas a Document by definition is an Item that has only ever one attachment.
    – James Love
    Aug 6, 2012 at 15:43

5 Answers 5


Document Set is an option. I had also used LinkToDocument as it can link to master document. You can also create a unique column (or field) so these can grouped together.

  • To add, document sets can have all the fields of each document in that set sync, so that when you open one document in the set, you can view all the fields of the document set, not just the document.
    – Mike
    Aug 6, 2012 at 17:12
  • Is there a way as highlighting a document as the "main" document in a document set?
    – John
    Aug 7, 2012 at 8:13
  • Sure. Create 2 Content Types. Call one "Master Document" and call the other "Supporting Documents". Display content type column in the view. Don't make your solution too complicated as you can pay heavy toll on server or during rendition if you have large list.
    – Robin Li
    Aug 7, 2012 at 12:39

If you don't want to go down the document set approach, you could create a lookup column to either a Supporting Files document library or the current document library itself that allows for multiple selections. This would allow you to add additional related documents to the metadata for the "Main" document.


You can have below solution:

  1. Create a document library to hold the main documents

  2. Create a list to hold the supporting documents as attachment to a list item.

  3. Create a lookup column in document library which will fetch information from the list. When you create lookup, select in Title(link to item) in 'In this column' dropdown. This will allow you to edit\add attachments(supporting docs) from the document library UI itself.

  4. Check "Enforce relationship behavior" and select Restrict delete. This
    will prevent the deletion of item carrying supporting docs (as attachments) in the list if it is associated to a document in the document library.

  • Good Idea but It will cost server to render if you have large doc libs with large list (# of visitors, # of items shows per page, etc.).
    – Robin Li
    Aug 7, 2012 at 14:01
  • 1
    @RobinLi,please elaborate your point. SharePoint can handle large lists\libraries if the information architecture is correctly designed Aug 8, 2012 at 5:54

You can try using InfoPath forms, this allows as many attachments as you want. Instead of attaching the related documents with InfoPath you can also think of storing them in another OOTB document library and provide the link in the InfoPath.


I faced the same problem, tried several built-in or self-built solutions. Finally, a third-party component made it: http://www.sparqube.com/SharePoint-Document-Column/

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