SharePoint terminology

The following terms below are commonly used and referred to while using SharePoint. Anything within a defined term that is capitalized is also within this list alphabetically.

You can choose to scroll through each definition on this page, or you may click any letter in the alphabetical list directly below.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


  • Add an App – menu option in the Gear Menu next to your username. It allows you to add Libraries and Lists to your Team Site with the right Permissions.
  • Alerts – notification to users of changes to existing information or if new information has been added within a List or Library, on a Document or an Item. Sent via email when they have subscribed to receive Alerts. It will include a URL to go directly to the change.
  • Announcements – a List that holds Team Site announcements.
  • App – any List or Library you place in a Web Part on the Team Site Home page.
  • Ascending Order – a sorting method arranging either alphabetically or numerically from smallest to largest. Dates and times are arranged oldest to newest.
  • Attachment – an external file that can be referenced in a SharePoint List.


  • Calendar – a type of List that holds meetings and events.
  • Check Out/Check In – this feature can be enabled with Versioning. This allows one person to make changes to a document while it is Checked Out to them, thereby not allowing any other edits on the document by anyone else until is once again Checked In. A read only copy would be available to others during this time.
  • Child Site – is another term for a Sub Site. It sits under the Parent Site.
  • Column – resides in a List and contains Meta Data associated with an Item.
  • Contribute – a permission level where the Member can add, modify, edit and delete files within Libraries and items within Lists, as well as Read all content.


  • Default View – is the View of the information in a List that appears when users open that List.
  • Descending Order – a sorting of information arranged either alphabetically or numerically from largest to smallest. Dates and times are arranged newest to oldest.
  • Design – a permission level where the Member has the ability to modify the Team Site’s Home Page, Contribute to the Team Site Files in Libraries and Items in Lists as well as Read all content.
  • Document – is any file stored in a Library from Microsoft programs, or PDFs and Visio for example.
  • Document Library – a Library to store different types of files; Word, Excel, PDF, PowerPoint, Visio, etc.
  • Documents – is an “Out of the Box” SharePoint named Document Library at site creation.


  • Edit Page – the ability to design and modify the Home Page of a Team Site. You will find this option in the Gear Menu next to your username.


  • Files – are documents stored within Libraries, such as Excel spreadsheets, Word documents or PDFs.
  • Full Control Owner – a Permission level where the owner or administrator of a Team Site that has the ability to provide Permissions to the Site and all its Libraries and Lists. Full Control Owners have the ability to Design and modify the entire Team Site, including any Sub-Sites as well as Contribute to and Read all content.


  • Gear Menu – menu that resides next to your username in the upper right corner. Contains options including Edit Page, Add an App, Site Contents and Site Settings.


  • Home Page – the main landing page of any Team Site in SharePoint and contains Web Parts and Page Layout to configure your Apps.


  • Import Spreadsheet – an App that uploads an existing spreadsheet to your Team Site that you browse for on your computer.
  • Inherit Permissions – a function within Permissions where the Library, List or Sub Site has the same Permissions as the Parent Site.
  • Item – a single entry in a Row within a List. Items can have multiple Columns of Information associated with it.


  • Library – there are a number of different Library types: the two most commonly used are the Document and Picture Libraries.
  • Links – a type of List, used for website addresses both internal and external, that Members will frequent.
  • List – an Excel type listing of information, containing Rows and Columns with Meta Data of information pertaining to it. The most commonly used are Announcements, Calendar, Links, Contacts and Tasks.


  • Membership – the access that people have to a Team Site and with what Permission level.
  • Meta Data – is data about data. It is the additional information you provide to the properties of a file when you upload a Document to your Libraries or add new Items to your Lists. This aids in Searching in SharePoint as Items and Documents are more easily found.


  • Navigation – refers to the ability to modify Items within the Quick Launch, located on the left side of your Team Site Home Page. Comprises some if not all of your Team Site’s Lists, Libraries and Sub-Sites.


  • Out of the Box (OOTB) – in SharePoint these are the features that come with the product upon site creation. This includes existing Apps and Web Parts.


  • Page Layout – is the layout of the Home page, with its Web Parts and Web Part Zones. It can be modified to need and interest.
  • Parent Site – is the top level site in your Team Site. Any Child or Sub Sites created would cascade down from the Parent Site.
  • Permission Inheritance – upon site creation permissions cascade down from the Parent Site at the top level, all the way down through each Sub-Site, Library or List and to the files and Items within.
  • Permissions – refer to the capacity you have to access any particular Team Site. Permissions vary according to need to access. Most typical permissions are Read, Contribute, Edit, Design and Full Control Ownership.
  • Picture Library – a Library that contains pictures that are used on the Team Site or as a repository for pictures for your team’s activities.


  • Quick Edit – this is a View in a List that looks very much like an Excel spreadsheet with distinct Columns and Rows.
  • Quick Launch – the left hand side Navigation on your Team Site, listing the contents of your site, including Lists, Libraries and Sub Sites. It can be modified to show as much or as little using Navigation in Site Settings.


  • Read – a Permission level where a Member can Read all content and is able to download and print files only.
  • Recycle Bin – a location where files have been deleted will reside for a period of time before being moved to the global recycling bin in the top level site in the SharePoint Site Collection. It can be found in Site Contents at the Gear Menu.
  • Row – part of a List that contains one Item with multiple Columns of information regarding that Item.


  • Search – the box at the upper right of any page in SharePoint that will allow you to do a Search in four ways: The Site you are currently on, Everything, People and Conversations.
  • SharePoint – a collaborative tool from Microsoft where project teams or departments can share and work on documentation and also to store their files that should not be publicly available.
  • SharePoint Portal Administrator – a Permissions group that monitors, supports and repairs all within a Site Collection of SharePoint sites.
  • Site – an abbreviated term for a Team Site, and refers to any Site within a Site Collection.
  • Site Collection – a set of Team Sites in one single content database. Home is the top level Parent Site, and every site underneath it is a Sub Site or Child Site of the Parent. These are all maintained by the SharePoint Portal Administrator.
  • Site Contents – is within the Gear Menu next to your username. Here you will find all the contents of your Site, including all your Lists, Libraries and Sub Sites, and Recycle Bin.
  • Site Settings – found within the Gear Menu next to your username. These are the settings for your entire Team Site. You may change the Navigation in your Quick Launch from here. If you are a Full Control Owner, this is where you will also find Permissions.
  • Stop Inheriting Parent Permissions – the permissions from the parent site are cut. The Full Control Owner of the Team Site would then provide the appropriate Permissions needed for that particular List, Library or Sub-Site. It would no longer inherit permissions from the parent if a member is added or removed or their Permissions were modified in the Parent Site.
  • Sub Sites – is another term for a Child Site. It sits under the Parent Site. They have Libraries and Lists and function similarly. Permissions can be the same as the Parent Site or it can be managed differently if the Full Control Owner decides to Stop Inheriting Parent Permissions.


  • Tasks – a specific List to maintain and monitor tasks that you have added to the Team Site. Workflows can be created for Tasks. You can assign staff to review, approve items, create a start and due date and monitor it all with predecessors and even track issues within the Tasks.
  • Team Site – a Microsoft SharePoint product that is a user built website used internally by companies to work on projects and files or lists of information. It can also be used to store pertinent documentation needed by a team or by an entire organization.


  • URL – the website address of any Team Site or a link to any internet site. For example, the URL of the ITS Blog is Google’s URL address is You will find the URL of a website at the top of any browser.


  • Versioning – the ability to track changes to a Document both major and minor versions and to restore content if need be. Used in conjunction with Check Out/Check In.
  • Views – there is a default view on any Library or List. But this can be modified by its Column information or you may create new Views, choosing specific Columns to categorize and sort the information for a particular use.


  • Web Part – a “container” that sits on your Home page of your Team Site. You can add a Library or List into a Web Part as a sneak peek of that information. It is clickable and the Library or List will open up showing more of its information. These can be customized in Page Layout in your toolbar.
  • Workflows – an automated business process where Documents and Tasks are routed automatically by email from one user to another for action; according to the sequence of events that you choose. For example, a workflow that requires several people to approve a Document. You can approve, reject or request changes. When you receive Alerts via email you can click to that Item link or Library link and view the content.

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