How to get the list of folders that are empty in SharePoint?

SharePoint is a document management and collaboration platform. There may be times and Instances where you would need to check for folders that have no files in them. One approach is to manually open each folder in a document library. This approach might suffice if you have just a handful of folders. But what if you have more than 100 folders? Checking each one of them is definitely going to be time consuming.

SharePoint has something called as views which control and determine how you would like your files or folders to be represented in the Document Library. For Instance you could have a view which shows only files that were modified in the past 15 days. Or you could show files that were created yesterday. The filtering criteria gives one a lot of options to play around with.

As one knows a document has a certain set of properties associated with it. Like Creation Date, Modified Date, Author etc. There is one property that would help in getting us the list of folders that are empty. The property is called Item Child Count. Item Child count displays the number of files in a folder. In order to achieve our goal, we would have to create a view that displays only folders whose Item Child Count=0.

Follow these steps on creating a view and setting the value of Item Child Count.

  1. Go to your Document Library.
  2. Then goto your Library Settings. Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 8.29.18 PM.png
  3. Scroll Down and Click on Create viewScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 8.29.38 PM
  4. On the View Type, select Standard View.
  5. Scroll down to the Filter Section
  6. Under “Show the Items when column”, choose the value Item Child Count.
  7. Set the value equal to 0.
  8. Scroll Down and click OK.


This would create a view that displays folders which are empty.


SharePoint High Level Differences between a Publishing Site and a Team Site

A publishing site and a Team Site are common in many ways but there are some differences. Here I am going to talk about the High level differences without going Into too much of detail.

One of the main differences between a Publishing Site and a Team Site is that a publishing site can be customized to a larger extent than a Team Site. If you are planning to Install a 3rd Party tool like Akumina or Live Tiles, you could either deploy it on a publishing site or you could deploy it on the Team Site and activate the Publishing Features under Site Settings.

Some of the libraries that are available by default on a Team Site are not there on a Publishing Site. Some of them are News Feed and Calendars.

Finally, A Team Site is light weight whereas a Publishing Site requires more resources. So, while creating a new site you would need to think about the requirements and accordingly make a decision on which type of site you would need to create.


Viewing Word Documents from SharePoint in One Note

SharePoint is a platform for document management and collaboration. Documents such as Word, Excel and PDF’s are the common document types that are uploaded in SharePoint. In order to view documents in SharePoint, particularly SharePoint Online, you would normally click on a file which opens an Online Version of the Document.

Suppose you have documents that you need to access in a regular basis, it would be Inconvenient for a person to navigate through different pages and finally land Into the Document.

If you have One Note and you need to view the document, all you have to do is copy the URL of the Word Document from the Address Bar and paste it on One Note. After you paste it One Note would automatically render the document. This saves you time navigating and searching for the Document!


Folksonomy, Taxonomy and Keywords

Out of three, I am pretty sure many of you would have not heard of Folksonomy. Before we dive into Folksonomy let’s see what a Taxonomy is? A Taxonomy is a classification system that is used to classify organisms into different categories and sub-categories. The tags which are used for classification are a standard and were created by experts.


Like Taxonomy, folksonomy is also a classification system but with a difference. Here, the tags are created by end-users of an application.

Now let’s come to the third part ‘Keywords’. Let’s see how does this fit in? Keywords in SharePoint are stored in the Managed Metadata term store. They are located under System->Keywords. Keywords in this location are termed as Folksonomy since they are created by end-users. But the problem with this arrangement is that the keywords can only be used within the site for which it is configured. If you need to manage the keywords in a central location so that it can be used in all the sites of the site collection, you would need to move the keywords to a term set. Please Note: Once the keywords are moved to a term set , they cannot be moved back. They are trapped in a sense!

Once the keywords are stored in a term set, they are part of a taxonomy. So, the process of moving keywords to a term set is often called as Folksonomy to Taxonomy.

Synonyms in SharePoint

When we search for something using a search engine we normally don’t enter the exact keywords that would be present in a website or a document. What we actually enter is something that tends to have the same meaning as those keywords or a phrase that would relate in that way.

Search without synonyms would definitely be something that someone does not want to live with! Without synonyms configured, if you don’t happen to enter the keywords that are present in a document or a website you would get 0 results. This obviously would be really frustrating and you might end up pulling all your hair out off your head :D!

Fortunately SharePoint Search recognizes synonyms and it can be configured. In order to configure it, one would need to Import a Thesaurus file to SharePoint using Power Shell. The Thesaurus file basically contains the key with the corresponding synonym, something like this

key, synonym, language

For Example in a thesaurus file an entry would be-

emerges, rises, en

where en stands for English

So suppose a document had a word called as “emerges” and you search for “rises”, you would still be able to retrieve the document from the search results.

Each line is a new entry in the file. And once you are done adding the entries, the file can be uploaded to SharePoint. One must note that if you re-upload the Thesaurus file with new keywords, it would not automatically add those keywords to the existing thesaurus file. It is basically going to create a new file with the keywords that you had planned to add. So, it is always wise to keep a backup of your Thesaurus file in your local hard drive so that you don’t loose your data if you accidentally happen to upload a file with just the new words.


SharePoint Online switching from Classic View to Modern View

SharePoint is the cloud sibling of the SharePoint family. It comes with your Office 365 Subscription. Microsoft Initially built SharePoint solely for on-premises but since the launch of SharePoint Server 2013, they have also come out with their cloud product.

The advantages of SharePoint Online is the end users get acquainted with the latest features from Microsoft. It is easier for Microsoft to release new features to the cloud rather than the On-Premise version. Hence, the cloud version gets newer features and updates before the On-Premises Version.

With SharePoint Online and Office 365, Microsoft has created a new view or look for SharePoint itself. It translates to the entire SharePoint Online Infrastructure. There have been changes to the appearance of Items in the Menus and some of the menus which were quite prominent in the On-Premises version is not there. They have tried to make use of the Office 365 ribbon and have tried to transfer most of the functionality over there.

If a user is not comfortable with the the new look, he can switch over to the old view at any point of time. There is a link at the bottom left hand corner which says “Switch to Classic view”. There is a perceptible difference in the appearance of the old and new view, just to give you an Idea here is the view of a Document Library. This is a view from the New look Screenshot (163).png

And this is the old view

Screenshot (162).png

See the difference? The old view has a menu for the library which Includes difference functionality which is not there in the new view. So if you happen to be in the old view and want to come back to the new view, simply close your browser and open it again, this would delete the cookies associated with the old view.