Skip to main content
Indiana Wesleyan University Support Knowledge Base

Grouping Documents By Category


Explains how to groups documents by categories in an existing library or list on a portal site.


Add a Column

  • Add a new column in your library that will be used to store the names of each section in your grouping. You can name this column "Category" or "Section". See Adding a Column to a Library or List for instructions.

    • Note that this column name will be visible to users. It will display similar to the image below.GroupedDocuments.PNG

  • The Column Type should be "Choice".

  • In the box with the text "Enter Choice #1, Enter Choice #2...", enter the names of the groups you would like to create.

    • For example, if you wanted to group your documents by month, you could create a new column called "Month", and then enter "January February March..." into the box. Be sure to put each group name on a separate line inside the box.

Create a New View

  1. Now you need to create a new view for your library that will display your documents using the groups you just added. (See Creating Views). You can call this view "Grouped View" or whatever you would like.
  2. In the "Group By" section near the bottom of the page, set the first dropdown box to the name of the column you created (i.e. "Category", "Section", etc.). See image below.


  1. Your library will not look any different until the documents in the library have a value in the new column you created. If you already have documents in the library, edit the properties of each document and select a value for the new column you created. Do this for every document in your library.
  2. If you do not have any documents in your library, upload a document and be sure to give it a value in the new column.

Note: only groups that have a document set to that value will be displayed. For example, if you have a column called "Months", and you assign documents to the groups "January", "February", and "March", but you do not have any documents assigned to the other months, then only those three months will be displayed. Other months will automatically display when documents are assigned to them.

Set Web Part on Site to New View

You now have a column to use for grouping and a view that is set to group by that column. You may notice, however, that the web part that displays your library on your site is still not grouping! This is because you have to set that web part to use the view you created.


  1. On the "homepage" of your Portal site, click on "Site Actions" and then click "Edit Page". 
  2. Now edit the web part that is displaying this document library as shown below.


  1. In the menu that appears to the right of the page, in the "Current View" dropdown box, select the name of the new view that you created.


  1. Click OK.
  2. Be sure to save your changes (or publish your changes if you are working on an info site).

Your documents are now grouped!

Edit Existing Categories

To add or remove an item from a particular column or category:

  1. Within your site, click on "Site Actions" in the upper left corner, then click on "View All Site Content".
  2. Open the library or list that contains the category you want to modify.
  3. Under the "Library Tools" (or "List Tools") group in the menu at the top, select "Library" (or "List")  and then click the "Library Settings" button (or "List Settings" button) on the right of the menu bar.


  1. Scroll down to the list of Columns and click on the name of the column you want to update.
  2. Under "Additional Column Settings", you will see the list of category types. Simply update that list by adding another item or removing/modifying an existing item. Click OK to save your changes.

Note: If you added a new item, you will not actually see it anywhere until you add an item to the library and then assign it to that category name. Then that category will be visible, since it will then have an item assigned to it.