I think my question is general enough to not be version-specific, but if not, we're running Foundation 2010 with minimal development (SPD, Vis Studio, etc.) capability.

I have a 3500-document repository that recently got converted to a SharePoint library. Our metadata is almost non-existent and we're relying on full text document searches to find content. Since keywords were not part of the initial repository, they were created from scratch in a spreadsheet a few years ago. Col 1 is the document name, Col 2 is a column delimited list of keywords. This is the data I'm trying to populate into SharePoint's metadata columns.

Here's where I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around things.

Let's say that an Excel record is this: document_foo.doc; keyword_foo1,keyword_foo2,...,keyword_foo8. I plan to cut-and-paste the records from Excel to a Datasheet view of my library.

My question is this: if I paste a list (keyword_foo1,keyword_foo2,...,keyword_foo8) into an empty metadata column does that whole string of 8 keywords become the sort value? or would Sharepoint recognize keyword_foo1 as a seaparate and distinct keyword from keyword_foo2? That's out intention, but I suspect it won't.

But if I create ten distinct keyword columns, and reformat the single Excel keyword field into up to ten separate keywords in ten separate columns, I end up potentially missing something if I search in keyword_foo2 and the value lives in keyword_foo4. With that, I run into the potential of having a list of thousands of keywords from which users get to choose when creating a new document--that seems needlessly unweildy to me.

In a perfect world, I'd like to see multiple choice check boxes created from the keyword list; but then I'd have to add a carriage return instead of the spaces in the filename, right? And I'd have to figure out a way to prevent a list of a few thousand keywords from accumulating over time.

I'm a little too close to the project too see it clearly. Does anyone have any suggestions or strategies for me?


If you were to use an enterprise key words column, and separate the existing keywords with a semicolon instead of a commar it would nicely separate them. However this would still be more editing than it sounds like you want to do...

  • Ah, but I can do a global replace in the Excel keyword column to replace "," with ";". 2 clicks, 2 keystrokes, another click. e viola--a properly formatted column to cut-n-paste. Is there a specific column type into which you'd recommend loading this data?
    – dwwilson66
    Jan 29 '13 at 16:34
  • Follow instructions here: office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-help/… Using enterprise keywords rather than just adding a text metadata field means you can easily refine your searches later using the bar down the left hand side of the search results. Jan 29 '13 at 16:38
  • AWESOME! I've been looking for this for a while. Just hoping that our admins have it enabled in our installation. But that's my issue....
    – dwwilson66
    Jan 29 '13 at 16:45
  • Cool :) Good luck. Jan 29 '13 at 16:48
  • ...aaaand buzzkill. Enterprise keywords not available in Foundation. :| Back to the ol' drawing board.
    – dwwilson66
    Jan 29 '13 at 16:54

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