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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

In SharePoint, can terms from more than one taxonomy be assigned to the same document?

SharePoint Managed Metadata Question of the Week
Each week we will be featuring an audience question from WAND's recent webinar, "Managed Metadata 101: Taxonomies and Tagging in SharePoint," and sharing the answer with our blog audience. 

This week's question is, "In SharePoint, can terms from more than one taxonomy be assigned to the same document?"

Answer: Terms from multiple term sets or taxonomies can be tagged to a document by using separate columns or the enterprise keywords column.   The Enterprise Keywords column is a default SharePoint column which is set up so that it can be populated with any managed terms or managed keywords.    So, a document can be tagged to terms from all taxonomies in the Enterprise Keywords column by default. 

Alternatively, you can create separate columns at the site, library, or content type level and have each column be populated with a different taxonomy.  In the screenshot enclosed, you can see that the document library has been set up with two different columns, each being populated with terms from a separate taxonomy, or term set. In this case, one column has been set up for "Location", which is assigned to a geography taxonomy, and one column is set up for "Document Content", which is assigned to a separate term set/taxonomy.   This approach can be more intuitive for users rather than putting all terms into a single Enterprise Keywords column, because the appropriate place to put tags will be more obvious to the user and also filtering within the library is a little bit more intuitive as well.

This answer is applicable to SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint Online.

If you are just starting with the SharePoint Term Store and need a taxonomy to get started with, download a free SharePoint Taxonomy from WAND.