I wanted to do a quick blog post that covers some of the functionality that is provided out of the box within Lists & Libraries that I think is often overlooked. One of the features I am referring to is the use of the out of the box view styles that can be configured. In my example below I will be looking at a task list and the different view styles that can be configured for this list. Most lists have the same styles available, so while my post is dealing with a task list it in theory applies to all list types and libraries.
To get started, I will be showing screenshots of the different styles available out of the box. From there we will review the easiest way to create a view that uses the pre-defined styles.
This Post Applies To:
This style is probably the one that is most familiar to you, as it is the default style for many lists. This style will display the items in rows and columns based on the columns you have selected to be displayed. Here is a screenshot of this view for our task list:
Boxed No Labels
This style is going to take all of your list data and display it in a small box. Each data item will be placed in order based on the columns displayed across the top (what columns and what order can be configured in each view).
This style gives you the ability to visually display small groups of data. For information that is lengthy or contains many columns this would be a good alternative to scrolling across vertically to see all of the columns of data.
This style gives you the ability to visually display small groups of data and displays the column headers next to the information (unlike Boxed No Labels).
This style is going to display the content in a combination of rows and columns. The organization is based on the amount of data you have to be displayed, the types of fields and the order. If you are unhappy with how it is displayed, try switching up the column ordering or columns displayed to get a slightly different look.
Newsletter No Lines
This is the same style as Newsletter; however the horizontal line between each item is not displayed. Instead, every other item is slightly shaded.
This view is the same as the Basic table view, however every other item in the view is shaded. The color used in the shading is based on the colors selected in the theme. This style really helps draw the user's attention to the different line items.
This style allows you to select a title of an item in the list and then the corresponding fields are displayed in a preview pane. This is a create view to use when building a contact list or an FAQ site.
Putting It to Use
Now that you have seen some of the styles, let's look at how you might be able to put them to use. Below are some examples of different views in action. Notice how they don't really change any functionality; they just add some nice usability to the site.
Using the preview pane on a list provides a great way for users to quickly find information about different users. In my example I have a list of offices and details about that office. For the preview pane as a user scrolls over the Office name they will see information about the person who is in that office. Without leaving the page, users will be able to access the detailed information they are looking for.
In this example we have 3 lists on the page, connected using Web Part Connections. The first web part is using the Newsletter Style. The middle web part is using the Box style and the right web part is using the Newsletter no line style. Using the different views will help the users easily see and process the data on the page.
If you haven't really done much using the default styles, I would encourage you to try them out. You will likely find that your users appreciate the different views and the styles that can be used. Just a few small things that you can change on the web parts to really add some additional value to the users.