Creating Lists and List Templates in SharePoint; Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

Serving as an incredible way to work together, Sharepoint has received numerous appreciations from small-sized and large-sized enterprises. Equipped with brilliant team collaboration tools like SharePoint Online, SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server and OneDrive for Business folder sync; SharePoint offers you powerful controls for managing costs, risk and lifetime of your business organization. Lists and list templates are two of the most crucial aspects of SharePoint. In this post, I’ll be walking you through complete details about creating a list from scratch and also via list templates.

Create Lists and List Templates in SharePoint

A closer look at Lists and List Templates in SharePoint

Lists are basically the building blocks in SharePoint which allow users to store and view their data. You can opt for customizing these lists by simply adding columns for storing any kind of details. A list can have an unlimited number of columns. Some of the most popular column types include single lines of text, multiple lines of text, data fields, choices and hyperlinks. These list columns can further be validated and linked with adjacent lists.

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Quite similar to SQL, these lists can be easily defines as different columns containing different data types. In SharePoint, you can create a list using the default content types such as announcements, links, contacts or calendars. Each of these content types has its own set of columns which can be modified or deleted for fulfilling the user’s requirements. When it comes to discussing about list templates, they offer an easy way to deploy identical lists across a specific SharePoint implementation. If you’re inclined on reusing a particular list across an organization, you can opt for creating a template out of this list and the same can then be selected each time a new list is to be created.

Firstly, let me make you familiar with the steps involved in creating an ‘out-of-the-box’ list

Step 1– Open your SharePoint website and navigate to the Settings gear icon placed towards the top right corner of the web page. Here, click on the “Add an app” option as shown in below screen-shot:

Step 2– On the page displayed after clicking the “Add an app” option(as explained in step1 above), simply click on “Custom List” option as shown in below screen-shot:

Now, you’ll be prompted to enter a name for the list. After entering a suitable name, click on “OK” button and the list would be created. To view the list that you’ve created, simply navigate to the ‘Settings’ gear icon available towards the right hand corner and scroll down to ‘Site contents’. You should be able to see your list here.

Now, let us get to know about the steps associated with creation of a list using list templates

Step 1– Go to the Settings gear icon located within top right corner and click on the “Site contents” option. From here, click on ellipsis of the list out of which you want to create a list template  and further click on “Settings” option as shown in the below screen-shot:

Step 2– On the page visible after clicking the “Settings” option in step 1 above, click on ‘Save list as template’ option available under the ‘Permissions and Management’ heading as shown in below screen-shot:

Step 3– On the page that’s reached after clicking on “Save list as template’ under Permissions and Management, enter the required details as shown in below screen-shot:

You’ll be required to enter a suitable value for the fields viz: File Name, Template Name and Template Description. Additionally, you can also find an option for including content in the list template. You can select the “Include Content” checkbox if you’re inclined on including data from the existing list into this new list template. Finally, clicking on “OK” button will render an ‘.stp’ file extension to the new list template and the same would be stored in your SharePoint website’s list templates gallery.

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With that you’re done with creating a new list template. To view the same, simply navigate to the Settings gear icon and further click on ‘Site settings’. Now, under the ‘Web Designer Galleries’ you’ll be able to view all ‘List templates’ available for your SharePoint website. From here onwards, the steps for creating lists from list templates are quite similar to the ones associated with creating an out-of-the-box list. Just head to the Settings gear icon, click on ‘Site contents-> Apps you can add, where you’ll be able to view the list template that you’ve just created. Have a look at this screen-shot:

On the above page, just click on the list template(the one from which you want to create a list), and click on ‘Ok’ button. Now, you’ll be able to view the new list that’s been created using the same list schema along with data(only if you selected the “Include Content” checkbox during list template creation).

With that, we’re done!


Since SharePoint heavily relies on list creation and usage, mastering the skill of creating lists will definitely serve as a great add-on for making the most out of SharePoint.

Juana Steves is a Technical writer in Xicom Technologies – a Sharepoint development company. She is also one of the best Sharepoint app Developers of its own kind and loves to share her thoughts related to Sharepoint.