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All about SharePoint List View Styles

Sometimes, there are out of the box features which we tend to ignore and later when we do apply, we are more than happy about the feature which is readily available in SharePoint. One such feature is List View Style. I never thought I would write a post on this. However, whenever I spoke about this with users, people were excited to see the result. That prompted me to write this post.

Instead of getting into only theory part, I will basically take use cases where these styles can be applied and also touch up on on some minor limitations with certain style.

When you are creating/modifying a List view, you will get an option to select View Style. As shown below, there are 8 options available and Default is always set if you ignore this style.

List of View Styles

I will take typical Contact List and Announcement List to explian about these styles. Let us go one by one.

This view, as name suggest, is the default style in a view. This is one of the widely seen style in SharePoint site. This is how it looks like:
Default Style
Basic Table:
This view is somewhat similar to Default view but with two notable changes. In this view, ECB menu appears as drop down (like previous version of SharePoint) and Add New Item link is shown just below the view.
Basic Table

This view provides "Contact Card" type of view as shown below.

Boxed, no labels:
This is view is similar to the previous one except that column labels are not displayed along with value.
Boxed, no labels

This view is similar to Basic Table but with shaded color for alternate rows. Obviously this view provides a better presentation than Basic Table style.
Preview Pane:
This view provides "preview" style where in there are two parts in this view: one which list down the values of Title column and other displays values of other columns when you hover on specific value of Title column. Because of this presentation, it occupies less space to display the list values and not all rows are displayed at a time. This view is quite useful when you have to display contact details in home page where you have space limitation.
Preview Pane
Limitation of Preview Pane:
With all other styles, you can use typical elements of the view such as filter, sort, and grouping. However, with Preview Pane, though Filter and Sort works, Group By does not work. If you try to apply Group By with Preview Pane style, you will get error message as shown below.
The Preview Pane view style cannot be used with grouped views.
For remaining two styles, I will use Announcement List as this is better suited than Contact List. Newsletter style displays the information one below the other with a line break between each row as shown below.
Newsletter No Lines:
This is similar to the previous one, with one change: instead of line, row is separated by kind of shaded bar.
Newsletter No Lines

As you can see, applying these styles brings a new or fresh look to the List view. However, except for Default style, for all other styles, "Find an Item" search box is not displayed.


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