my world of work and user experiences

August 31, 2013

Our new option for bulk editing: Quick Edit

Filed under: Office365,SharePoint — frederique @ 20:06

We often have to add, edit or delete dozens of list items or document properties in one go. Opening each item one by one drives you crazy quite quickly. So we are very happy with the options SharePoint offers us to do these bulk operations quickly and painlessly. The latest one is called Quick Edit, which replaces the datasheet. It not only has a new name, but it also has very practical new features. But not everything works as I expected.

Quick access to the Quick edit option…

We now have a 1-click button ‘Quick edit’ at the top of the list or library, so that you don’t need to open the ribbon first.

Edit this list

Edit this list: the quickest way to start bulk editing

In the Quick Edit view you get then, you can add edit the values of most fields, and add rows and copy over the value of fields, all very quickly and easily.

… but not for views with other Styles than Default

However, the quick edit only works if your list or library is displayed in a view with Style = Default. If the view has any other style (such as basic table or newsletter), the modern 2013 interface for the quick edit disappears and the Quick Edit option in the ribbon is disabled. At the same time, the modern interface for adding items and switching view disappears; you get the old ‘add item’ link at the bottom of the list. Weird huh?

No Quick Edit if the view has another Style than Default

No Quick Edit if the view has another Style than Default; this example has the Shaded style.

Microsoft has said that this is by design, which probably means that they know it does not work. I have requested that they fix this anyway via the change request form, hoping that more people do so and Microsoft fixes this.

…and not for grouped views

Another unexpected limitation is that the Quick Edit is not available for view where Group By is used. The option at the top of the list disappeared, and it gets greyed out in the ribbon.

No Quick Edit for a grouped  view

No Quick Edit for a grouped view

The old school datasheet could handle grouped views without blinking, but the new Quick Edit is stumped by this very common setting that makes our views a lot easier to read. Again, Microsoft sells it as “by design” and, again, I have begged them to solve this by way of a service request and subsequent change request.

Quick Edit works for management metadata!

What exasperated me and my users most about the datasheet view in SharePoint 2010 was our inability to quickly edit managed metadata with it. Our environment uses managed metadata a lot, so bulk operations were always a pain.

But now we can add, edit and delete managed metadata in the Quick Edit. This is a serious win and I am very happy with it! You can just type in our managed metadata, or use the assistance you get in regular managed metadata fields, to select your value from the company taxonomy.

Quick Edit of Managed metadata

Quick Edit of Managed metadata

Quick Edit allows you to insert pictures in multiple lines of text fields

In enhanced multiple lines of text fields, you can not only insert pictures and other advanced layout in the regular edit form but also in the Quick Edit mode. You couldn’t do that in the old 2010 datasheet.

Insert a picture in Quick Edit mode.

Insert a picture in Quick Edit mode.

Strangely enough, the Rich Text variant of the fields cannot be edited in the Quick Edit mode – it looks like that one is being deprecated, as the option only becomes available when I edit a column, not when I created it.
As in the 2010 datasheet, the versions of the multiple lines of tex field that allow you to append text and keep track of the versions, still don’t work in the Quick Edit. A pity, but not unexpected.

Note: different names are used for it

 The datasheet was always the datasheet, but now we have to pay attention:

  • In the ribbon this option is called Quick Edit
  • In the list, the shortcut is called Edit this list.
  • When you predefine a view like this, it carries the old name Datasheet view.
  • Microsoft refers to it as inline editing in articles like Add, edit, or delete list items  (Inline edit used to be something different in 2010, but apparently now it is the same quick edit functionality.)

Bottomline: I like the good stuff, such as the quick access and the option to edit managed metadata. And I hope that Microsoft fixes the weaknesses soon, because it seems like they just didn’t have time to implement it for other types of views. Now’s a good time guys 🙂

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