Add “Link to a Document” to a Document Library

I threw this together for a customer, and figured I’d blog it, as it’s generally fairly useful to remember how to do this again in the future.  The steps below help to guide you through the process of adding the “Link to a Document” content type to a document library.

1) Go into the Site Actions -> View All Site Content, and find the library you want to change


2) Go into the Library Settings for that library


3) Go into “Advanced Settings”, and choose “Allow management of content type” – Select “Yes”, when done, click “OK”


4) A new option will now be available on the Library Settings page, “Content Types”.  Choose “Add from existing site content types”.


5) From the list on the left, find “Link to a Document” and add it to the list on the right.


6) You will now have 2 content types, including “Link to a Document”.  Exit the settings page.


7) In your library, you will now have the ability to add a link to a document as a library “item”.  Choose this, and let’s try it out.


8) Basically what this allows you to do is to create a name / value pair, where the “Document Name” is what will show up in the library as the “name” and the URL is basically any reference that you want it to be (it could even link to – for all SharePoint cares).  What you’ll likely want this to be is a URL to a document in the other site’s document library.


9) Finally, in case you didn’t know, the easiest way to get the Document URL for a file is to go to the file and choose “Email a link”.  This will pop open a new email message, but it’s the easiest means of getting the URL to a document.  Just steal the URL from the email and throw the email away.  Finally, paste that value into the dialog above, and you’re all set!



That should get you everything you need. 

17 responses to “Add “Link to a Document” to a Document Library

  1. This is great..thanks for sharing. Do you have something similiar that would allow me to ‘link’ to a document on my network instead of another document library? Is this possible?

      1. I can’t get this to work for network files.
        It seems that only http: and https: links are allowed.

          1. Hi,

            I have an issue that is sort of similar and thought I would ask here. We are running SPF 2013. We used to be on WSS 3.0.

            1. created a web part page
            2. added a Links app and named it test links
            3. inserted the test links app into web part page
            4. added a link to the list with an html page url – works great
            5. added a link to the list for a file on a file server: (file://server3/test/test.pdf) – DOES NOTHING.

            I have read that if we don’t turn on the “Web Publishing” feature, links to files on file server shares will not work, and it seems, we can’t turn on this feature in Foundation.

            Can you shed any light on this, or point us to a definitive answer concerning this. I have searched far and wide and can’t seem to find a definitive answer or work around.

          2. Scot, where you ever able to find a solution to this adding a file:// type of link to a SharePoint link to a document?

          3. Hi, were you ever able to find a solution to this adding a file:// type of link to a SharePoint link to a document?

  2. Hi I want to set up ‘link to a document’ within a document set. I’ve managed to be able to make it available at the ‘folder’ level, but not inside any of the sets. Is this possible?

  3. You saved me a lot of time not having to research this. Easy and straightforward. Thanks, Dan T.

  4. Thanks so much for information! I have now added the new content type and successfully linked documents from one library to another, however what I would also like to do is display the Record ID of the original document with the linked doc. I added this column to the content type, however the link document generates a new Record ID rather than displaying the Record ID of the original? Just wondering if there is a way to do this? Grateful for any suggestions!

  5. When I click on Link to a document , it opens a word document instead of a dialog box(New Link to a document)

  6. Hi,
    What if i want to automate this process.
    I wish to move a file to my archive, but once its moved i wish to retain a link to its new position, if we need to access it again.
    My archiving will happen once the file expires automatically.

  7. I followed the directions to allow addition of Links. But when I clink on “Link to document” under New, it still opens the dialog box for adding a document instead of asking for URL details

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