​A common issue I have encountered is people commenting that “SharePoint is a black hole” and that “I can’t find stuff”.

The answers given to this problem vary, ranging from using content types, managed metadata, configuring search, to add hyperlinks to key stuff. Those are all great suggestions, but what if you aren’t a site owner/administrator? What can an end user do to make it easier to find what is important to them?


Views allow us to see information stored in a list or library in different ways – to slice and dice it in a way that is useful and meaningful. Views really do need some love – they seem to often getted “missed” or are an afterthought once SharePoint has been rolled out and users are already frustrated that they cannot find anything. By then it may well be too late – you may have lost that user’s attention and excitement about a shiny new system simply because they couldn’t get to what they needed to get to.

Changing Views

You can switch between views by selecting the List (or Library) tab in the ribbon and selecting an option from the Current View drop-down list.


In SharePoint 2010 you can also switch views on the Browse tab in the ribbon and selecting an option from the drop-down list.


In SharePoint 2013 you can switch views by clicking the links at the top of the list. The view you are currently looking at will be highlighted in a different colour.


There are two types of views available in SharePoint:

Public views, that can be set up by the site owner/administrator and are available to all users who can access that list

Personal views, that can be set up by any user and is ONLY available when that user is logged on


Creating a Personal View

  1. Open the list where you wish to create a personal view.
  2. From the ribbon, select the List tab and click the Create View icon.Create-View
    The View Type page will be displayed.
  3. Click the Standard View link.
    The Create View page will be displayed.
  4. Enter a Name for the view.
  5. Set the View Audience to  Create a Personal View.
  6. Set the options you want for your view and click the OK button.
    The view will be created and available only when you are logged on.

In the next post​ we will look at the different view options that are available and what you might use them for.