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The New Look of SharePoint Online Document Libraries

Author by Christian Urena

The SharePoint Online Document Library Makeover


The New Look

The new document libraries have a look and feel very similar to OneDrive. Let’s take a deeper look at the new features and functionality of SharePoint Online document libraries. 



One thing we can take note of is that there is no global navigation or a ribbon. In the new experience, the global navigation links become a part of the Quick Launch on the left if Quick Launch navigation is used on your site. If we keep users in mind, no ribbon makes it have a cleaner UI and can be less overwhelming for users.

Select a document and you’ll see…


Select multiple documents and you’ll see…


Library Settings can be found under the Site Actions icon.



Now you have the ability to create new links inside document libraries. When you add a new link, the file will open inside the web browser. This ability makes it a great experience for users and it avoids uploading the same document to different libraries.


When you create a new link you not only notice recent documents you’ve worked, but you can also see recent documents that your colleagues have worked on.



Here we’ll take a look at SharePoint views and not Drake’s anticipated album, Views from the 6. Under All Documents we have the option to view our files in the traditional list view or a grid view. The grid view displays a preview of documents very much like thumbnail images in a Picture Library. We also find other handy options such as View in File Explorer and the ability to modify or create a custom view.


We can also quickly edit the view by adding or changing the order of the columns. Instead of going into the Library Settings, we can just drag-and-drop or select the up-and-down arrows that appear when you hover over the column.



You can also view history of files or recent activity on the Document Library such as creating/editing/deleting a file or folder.   



The process of sharing has changed, but still carries out the same function. By selecting on a file, we can select Share or Get a link.


The “Pin”

The ability to pin documents or folders is a very useful feature that can be utilized in larger libraries where you can simply pin a popular document instead of having users scroll through numerous files.


Move & Copy

This functionality will allow users to move files better and easier between folders in a document library. One neat feature would be to see if there is a possibility to move files between document libraries within a site collection.


But wait. What if I want to make UI changes to the document library page?

One downside or a “missing” feature I noticed in the new user experience is the ability to edit the page if you would like to make custom changes. Here are two ways to return to the previous UI:

1. On the lower left side of the screen there is the option to select the classic look


2. You can disable the new library experience by going to Library Settings > Advanced Settings > List experience > Select Classic experience


Overall, the new user interface of document libraries in SharePoint Online delivers new features and improvements for daily users. These are big changes to SharePoint Online in Office 365 and hopefully we’ll find out more very soon.