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Sorry if this is a really dumb question, but I can't quite figure it out.

If I make a document library with no permissions for other people but me, will I and only I be able to see what's inside?

And if I add a document named X to that document library, and I share that document with person A, will person A then have access to document X (without seeing other documents like document Y and Z)? Or will person A have no access to the document at all because the document library in which document X is in has permissions set for me only?

I'm just confused about this.

1

Your first assumption is correct, provided you share the specific document with that person.

SharePoint supports 'item-level permissions', which means the granularity of security can be done down to the item (or document). If you have revoked that person access to the library (but granted to a document) he may not be able to load the entire library, but if given a direct URL to the document he will be able to open it.

  • Note that site collection administrators will be able to see content in the library regardless of permissions that you set. – Dave Paylor Aug 27 '13 at 8:47
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If only you have permissions, you will be able to see and add the documents.

But if you share a particular document 'X' with a user; he will be able to see and read 'X' only and not other documents. This is item level permission.

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