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4 ways to edit document metadata in SharePoint

Posted on February 26, 2018

If you follow my blog,  you probably know by now that I am a huge advocate of metadata. One of the most frequent complaints I hear about it is that (and I quote) “It is a @#$% pain to tag documents with metadata every time they are uploaded to SharePoint.” I could not disagree more! So with this post, I would like to provide you with four convenient options to tag documents and edit document metadata in SharePoint. Choose one that works best for you, and please tell those metadata drama queens who still complain!

Option 1: SharePoint Document Information Panel

The first option is the classic one and most straightforward one that you can get. You upload or drag and drop a document to a SharePoint document library and then tag it along, in the Document Information Panel window. Your window might look different depending on what version of SharePoint you use.

In older versions of SharePoint or SharePoint 2013/2016 on premises, you get the classic library experience, so your Document Information Panel looks like this:

edit document metadata in SharePoint

With SharePoint Online you can still get classic experience for a document library, but hopefully, you run a modern document library experience, so your Document Information Panel looks like this (accessible when you click “i” in the upper-right-hand-corner of a document library):

edit document metadata in SharePoint

Option 2: Bulk Edit Properties

What if you want to tag multiple documents at once? In modern libraries we now have a Bulk Edit option. The way it works, you select multiple files and choose Document Information Panel, just like above, and you can then apply properties to many documents at once.


It is important to note that this option is not available with classical libraries. Just modern ones. But what if you need to tag multiple documents in the classical library? Keep reading!

Option 3. Quick Edit

There is another way to tag many documents at once and that is via Quick Edit feature. I outlined this in great detail in this post. This feature is available in both classical and modern libraries!

edit document metadata in SharePoint

edit document metadata in SharePoint

Option 4. Office Applications Document Information Panel

Did you know that you can tag your documents completely outside of SharePoint? You can tag them right inside of the Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and once tagged – just upload back to SharePoint. This is another great option for those suffering from metadata tagging fatigue. I outlined the step-by-step instructions on how to do this in this post.

edit document metadata in SharePoint

About Me

I’m Greg Zelfond, a U.S. based SharePoint consultant, and I provide affordable out-of-the-box SharePoint consulting, training, and configuration assistance to small and medium-sized businesses all over the world.

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