SharePoint 2016 has started rolling out to Office 365 users. As heavy SharePoint users ourselves, we’re pretty excited about this and there are a few new features that have already piqued our interest. In addition to an easier navigation, Microsoft seems to have a renewed focus on collaboration and productivity.
(If you’re wondering whether you’ve been upgraded, the easiest way to tell is to look for the new ‘SharePoint’ icon in the app launcher (instead of ‘Sites’).
For years, Microsoft has pushed OneDrive as a place to store your personal files and SharePoint as the place for collaborating on files with your team. Their official recommendation was to store your documents in OneDrive until you were ready to work on them with the team, at which point you would save the file to your desktop, upload the file to SharePoint, and then go back and delete the file on your desktop.
This cumbersome method is no longer needed, as you can now move files directly from OneDrive to SharePoint. To move a file, select a document or folder and then choose the ‘Move to’ option from the ribbon. This brings up a list of libraries you’ve followed or recently accessed.
Another great feature is the ability to ‘pin’ files and folders to the top of a library. This is very similar to the existing features already in Office programs like Word and Powerpoint and we’re thrilled to see it added to SharePoint. It’s sure to be a time saver.
Before SharePoint 2016, there was no way for an administrator to highlight an important file or folder. Some users have been cheating the system for years by naming the file with an ‘A’ or with a number (see below), but the method was inefficient and clunky at best.
To pin a file or folder, select it and choose ‘Pin to Top’.
Another new feature in SharePoint 2016 we love is the ability to link files and URLs.
With files, you can now upload a file in one place on SharePoint and link to it in other libraries rather than uploading the file in multiple places. If a change needs to be made to the document, you just make the change to the original without needing to re-upload it to any other locations. This should also help from a storage limit standpoint since you won't be using storage space to hold the same file multiple times.
You can also link to outside URLs, which is especially helpful if you often deal with outside vendors. If you use SharePoint for an employee portal, you can now add links to outside URLs relevant to your employees – like the support portal for your IT company or the 401K information on your HR company’s website.