Posted on / by Azka Naqvi / in Sharepoint

How to track documents in SharePoint using Document ID feature?

The document ID is feature in Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform that is there for quite some time now. Traditionally it was used by enterprises to track documents in SharePoint. But there is much more to it and it can be used for many other things.

This feature has been marred by modern features like Modern Pages, Office 365, etc. But it is still there so let’s talk about what it is and how you can use it to track documents in SharePoint.

The document ID is a Collection Level Feature available in SharePoint. It assigns a unique ID to every Document uploaded to SharePoint. This Unique ID or number helps the user in quickly finding that Document in SharePoint. Also, the Document gets a Unique URL which is also based on Document’s ID. So if the Document is moved to a new location within the site collection then its URL remains the same.

Top Benefits of Document ID Feature:

The unique ID can be displayed on any Document Library or Post. However, Document ID has some Advantages over Unique ID. These are:

  • The Document is assigned with a unique URL which does not change if the Document is moved to another location within the site.
  • You can easily search a given document using its Document ID in SharePoint.
  • The document ID is unique for the Whole Site Collection while Unique ID is only unique to given list or Library.

Steps to Configure Document ID Feature:

The document ID is enabled by default in the Document Center but you may not use those sites. So here are the steps to enable Documents ID feature on any Site of your choice like Modern, Classic, Communications Site and Office 365 Site.

  • Activate the feature:

So the first step here is to activate the feature at a site collection level. For this you need to:

  • Select Gear Icon then Site Information.
  • Click on View all site settings.
  • Next under Site Collection Administration, click on Site collection features.
  • Scroll down to Document ID Service and select Activate.
  • It may take a few seconds to activate.
  • Configure the Document ID feature:

Now, when the feature has been activated, you will have to configure it.

  • In Site Collection Administration (Site Settings), you will see Document ID settings. Click on it.
  • The next screen allows you to specify a custom prefix for your Document IDs. By default, it assigns some random characters, but you can assign your own if you like to.
  • Go ahead with changing the prefix to your desire and then Click in OK.
  • Display the column on a Document Library:

You just activated your Document ID column in the previous step, but if you want to view it in your document library then you need to display it. To do this:

  • Click on Edit the View.
  • Check the box next to Document ID column, after specifying the order, click on OK.
  • You will now see your Document ID column in your library.
  • Upload documents:

Now the basic setup has been done, and we can start uploading documents. You can do this by either Uploading or by Drag-and-Drop function.

If you had some documents in your library already then they won’t have a Document ID assigned. Also, the new documents uploaded will still carry the old Document ID prefix attached to them. Both these issues are because Document ID assignments and changes are not instant. There is a timer that running at the background that takes care of changes. You may have to wait up to 24 hours.

Embed with Microsoft Word:

One cool thing you can do with Document ID is to embed these in Word Documents. This is quite useful when the Documents are to be shared outside of SharePoint like with clients or vendors. These embedded document IDs are like a stamp on the document and helps the user to quickly locate the original in SharePoint Platform.

Move Documents to other Sites:

Another cool thing about Document ID Feature is that they remain the same and they just stick there even if you move the document to a different site. However, the destination Site should also have Document ID service enabled for this trick to work.

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