ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SharePoint Links List: Sorting/Ordering a Links List by Adding a custom sort order field/column

Updated on June 10, 2013
Create a more visually appealing links lists using a simple sort order column.
Create a more visually appealing links lists using a simple sort order column. | Source

No-Code SharePoint Solutions are Awesome

As with most things SharePoint related, I don't desire to have unyielding power and control over everything I develop. Instead, I just want to squeeze a little more functionality out of the pre-canned features. Links list are one of the most simple of the standard SharePoint 2007/2010/2013 out-of-the-box lists. You get a URL field, which has the URL and a display name, and then some other fields that never get used, like the notes column.

Further to the simpleness, when you add new links, they're displayed in the data entry order, which behind the scenes is just the ItemID. Call it simple, call it useless, but this is easy to overcome by sorting in alphabetical order. Unfortunately, this is still at not as useful as one would like, as you can see in the picture below.

With the addition of just one simple number column, you can exponentially increase the usability of a links list to create a custom sort order, and even fake a category if you so deem fit. (I'll discuss adding a real Category meta-data column later.)

A typical list of links sorted in alphabetical order
A typical list of links sorted in alphabetical order | Source
Add a number column to the Links list to allow for custom sorting
Add a number column to the Links list to allow for custom sorting | Source

So, the big trick is to add a simple number column to the Links list, such that you can sort by it later in a view. To accomplish this,

  1. navigate to the list settings,
  2. add a new column.
  3. Select a number field
  4. No decimals.
  5. Set a minimum value of 0
  6. Required: I don't require a value, but if you're working with multiple people, then it might be a good idea.
  7. Unique values: For this technique, I don't enforce unique values, as I need to use a number more than once. Adjust yours as needed.
  8. Default value: You can opt to add to the default value, depending on need.
  9. Add to default view: I usually do it when I start, then remove it from the views later. (It makes testing/debugging easier.)

Click ok to save the column, then add some data to support the cause.

Set the custom sort order using the new field and the URL field.
Set the custom sort order using the new field and the URL field. | Source

Next, you'll need a view that uses the custom sort field. To make that happen, click the Create View from the ribbon.

  1. Name it SortNoURL. (I always forget to do this first.)
  2. Remove all fields except for URL.
  3. Change the 'Allow users to order items...' to No
  4. Select the new field, SortNo, and then sort Ascending
  5. Select the URL field, and then sort Ascending

Click ok to save the view. Test and verify your effort.

To finalize the look of the top picture, you can add dividing lines by adding new links then putting in a dummy URL, and then some dashes for the display. I went a little further by faking category names. This is the extreme quick & dirty method, but if you really care about categories, you can add a category metadata column, and group by it. (I wrote about that, too. Please see 'SharePoint Links List: Add a category and custom sort order'

So for the dividers, I give them each their own number, but if you need to save a number, then just know that the hyphen (-) is sorted after letters and numbers. (The underscore may sort above, I didn't test.)

Thus, the simple trick of adding a column, populating the data, and making a view to use it gives that extra ounce of juice from the SharePoint Links List squeeze.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)