About this lesson
Learn what metadata is and how we can use it to search for content in our SharePoint team site.
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Working with Metadata
Many people used to see SharePoint as a place just to store documents. However, SharePoint has many other uses and sites can hold all different types of content. As we add more content the ability to be able to search for information becomes more important. We can search for files and other content using metadata. Metadata is a set of keywords and criteria that defines the document. The column headings and fields are also metadata that can be used to find files and content on the site.
When to use
We use metadata whenever we want to search for specific content on a SharePoint team site.
Metadata in File Explorer
Let's start with an example of metadata using something that is more familiar: File Explorer. If we open File Explorer and select a folder that contains files, we can see the metadata: File name, file size, modified by, author, modified date, etc.
If we are looking for Excel files within a folder in File Explorer we could type .xls into the search bar to search for all files of that type. The search ribbon gives us access to search on all different types of metadata and narrows down our search.
Searching in SharePoint Document Library
We have something similar in SharePoint. When we are within the document library, we can see a search bar at the top of the window. We can type keywords and use metadata here to search for specific files and folders within the document. Remember, all column headings are also considered metadata.
- Type .xls into the search bar to search for all Excel files in the document library.
- Click the cross to clear the search.
- Type 'Expenses' to search for the Expenses Claim form.
Searching Across a SharePoint Site
We can search across the entire site, by ensuring we are clicked on the Home page before running the search.
- From the Quick Launch Menu, click Home.
- In the search bar, type 'Webinar'.
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