Is there an out of the box way in SP2010 to copy the name of a folder to a column? Or a workflow to do it?

For example.

I have a folder content type called scholar and it will be named the scholar's name, such as John Smith. The folder content type has a column called Scholar Name and I want to autopopulate it with the value from the name field.

Why? Because I want all documents uploaded to the folder to inherit the metadata value as the document content type within will also have scholar name as a shared column.

Thanks in advance

1 Answer 1


Sounds like you should be using Document Sets with default metadata configured.

You can, however, achieve this using the Column Default Value Settings in a Folder as well.

Here's a nice blog with a comparison: Document Sets vs. Folders in SharePoint 2010

"Document Set" is actually a content type that inherits from the "Folder" content type, but it allows you to configure default metadata on the contents as well as a welcome page (rather than a default view). The biggest difference for you between using the Column Default Value Settings of a Folder and a Shared Column with default metadata in a Document Set is that if you change the default value of the Shared Column, it pushes the change to every document in that Document Set.

A use case that I can see for this would be a name change due to marriage or divorce. If you wanted to update all of the documents to reflect the name change, the Document Set would be your answer. But if you did want to retain the name on the document at the time the metadata was set (on upload), you should use Folders.

The default value can be configured manually OOTB when you create each Folder or Document Set, but to set the default value automatically upon creation you would use a content type event receiver, which is custom code (see Developing an Event Receiver for a Content Type).

Also, here's some other useful links:

Document Sets: Making Your Metadata Shine

Working with SharePoint Document Sets

  • SharePoint Foundation does not have Column Default Value. Is there a workaround (by using a workflow?) to automatically get the folder name in a column?
    – TempaC
    Commented Sep 24, 2013 at 9:56
  • You might want to ask this as a new question. Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 2:27
  • I posted it as a new question here: sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/78078/…
    – TempaC
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 8:04

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