One Document, Multiple Document Libraries

Here’s another question I see a lot, “Is there a way to have one document in multiple libraries, but have there be a master?” The answer is “sort of.” In SharePoint 2007 there is a new concept of “Content types.” A content type is kind of like a template for document types you store in libraries. In this case we’re going to leverage the “Document Link” content type. You can use it to create a link to a master document in another library or to any URL in general. In this post I’ll walk you through how to do it. First, notice your options when creating a new document in a standard Team site Document Library.

We’re going to add another option there for your link. Click Settings and then Document Library Settings. You need to access the Advanced Settings for the library, so click that.

Since we need to add a content type, click Yes next to Allow management of content types. Then hit Ok.

Now when you go back to the Document Library settings you’ll see a new section, Content Types. Click “Add from existing site content types.”

The content type we want to add is “Link to a Document.” Click it on the left and click Add to add it. Click Ok.

Now you should see your new content type in the Document Library settings.

Make sure it will be Visible on the New Button

Now when you create a new document in that library you’ll have another option under new. Let’s check it out.

Go ahead and click it and let’s create one. It’s just like filling out a favorite in your web browser. Give it a name and a link. In this example I’m linking it to a Word document in another library, but you can put any URL in there, SharePoint doesn’t verify it’s pointing to another SharePoint location.

Here’s what it looks like when you’re finished:

Whenever you want you can change the document that the link references without worrying about the links pointing to it. This basically replaces the old “Links Library” in SharePoint 2003.