Modern document libraries rolling out in SharePoint for all commercial Office 365 users

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Last month, Microsoft introduced their vision for the future of SharePoint, the flexible web application platform which enables companies and individuals to communicate privately, share data and manage workflows. To better compete with its rivals, Microsoft revamped its offering with new SharePoint mobile apps, a redesigned SharePoint homepage, modern team sites, and integration with PowerApps and the newly announced Microsoft Flow.

At the time, the company also shared that the modern document library experience which already rolled out to First Release tenants would later be available for all Office 365 commercial customers this quarter. Yesterday, the SharePoint team explained in blog post that this global roll-out has now begun and we will dive into the details below.

Microsoft has designed the modern document library experience to be “faster, more intuitive and responsive” while also keeping it authentically SharePoint:

While we enhanced the document libraries to make them as intuitive and productive as possible, we know that the power of SharePoint has always been in your ability to customize document libraries to work for your team. At the same time, there’s a rich tradition of using content types, check-in/check-out, versioning, records management and workflows in SharePoint. Modern document libraries inherit all of these.

The modern document library experience in SharePoint.
The modern document library experience in SharePoint.

The updated user interface offers an experience similar to the OneDrive web app, and the ribbon has been replaced with a trim command bar that makes it easier to copy and move files. It’s also now possible to import files from other libraries as links, without having to duplicate files between multiple sites.

Create a link in modern document libraries.
Create a link in modern document libraries.

The new document libraries also allow SharePoint users to edit metadata directly from the main view in the information panel. Furthermore, the Office Online integration also makes it possible to navigate a full document preview at the top of the information panel. Lastly, modern libraries belonging to Office 365 groups will display a new header control at the top of the page with a link to the group’s conversation, making it easy for users to navigate to calendar and member management.

The document information panel.
The document information panel also display a Share button.

For IT teams that are not ready to adopt the new SharePoint user interface yet, the SharePoint team will keep you in control of the experience and the classic mode will continue to be available:

When we bring modern document libraries into production later in June, it will become the new default for all libraries in most cases. However, we will add the tenant and administrative controls in advance of the actual library rollout, so if you choose to opt out, you can do so before users start seeing the new experience. We also included customization detection, so if we see certain features and customizations that don’t work in the modern experience, we automatically drop back to classic mode. And we’ll keep classic mode running well into 2017 while users and developers adapt and adopt the new capabilities.

We invite you to get more details on the full blog post, and you can also learn more about how to use modern libraries in this support article. Let us know what you think about SharePoint modern document libraries in the comments below.