A first look at Templates in Microsoft Lists

Custom List Templates are starting to roll out to Microsoft Lists. Templates allow organizations to extend their current List based solutions to a broader audience in an approved manner. Complete instructions can be found on the Creating custom list templates page. In this blog post I am going to walk through the experience of adding and deleting a custom Lists template.

Getting started

You will need Global admin or SharePoint admin permissions and the latest version of the SharePoint Online Management Shell module installed to complete these steps. All commands are executed via PowerShell.

To get started with the SharePoint Online Management Shell:

  • Run PowerShell as Administrator
  • Execute: Connect-SPOService -Url https://<tenant name>-admin.sharepoint.com -credential <admin account>
Connect-SPOService cmdlet

Add a custom template

To add a List template you have to get generate a Site Script for the source list; upload the Site Script; and finally create the List Design. Steps and comments are listed below. In my examples I am using a list called Projects.

  • Generate the Site Script by executing: $extracted = Get-SPOSiteScriptFromList -ListUrl "https://<tenant name>.sharepoint.com/<site path>/<site name>/Lists/Projects"
Get-SPOSiteScriptFromList cmdlet
  • To see the Site Script code execute: $extracted
$extracted
  • Upload the Site Script by executing: Add-SPOSiteScript -Title "Projects" -Description "This creates a project list" -Content $extracted
Add-SPOSiteScript cmdlet

Take note of the Id. You will need it for next steps.

Note: If you did not copy the Site Script Id you can obtain it executing: Get-SPOSiteScript

  • Create the List Design by executing: Add-SPOListDesign -Title "Projects" -Description "This creates a project list" -SiteScripts "<Site Script ID>" -ListColor Red -ListIcon BullseyeTarget -Thumbnail "https://<tenant name>.sharepoint.com/SiteAssets/vibrant-red-light-trails.jpg"
Add-SPOListDesign cmdlet

Note: The ListColor and ListIcon parameters are from the create list experience. See image below.

Create list experience for color and icon.

Note: The Thumbnail parameter can be any image that you want to be included in the list template. See image below.

Create list experience for thumbnail images.

If all goes well, you should see your new List Template in the From your organization section of the Create a list screen.

My List Template called Projects

Delete a custom template

To remove a List template you have to remove the List Design and then remove the Site Script. Steps and comments are listed below. In my examples I am using a list called Projects.

  • Remove the List Design by executing: Remove-SPOListDesign <List design ID>
Remove-SPOListDesign cmdlet

Note: If you do not know the List Design Id you can obtain it by executing: Get-SPOListDesign

  • Remove the Site Script by executing: Remove-SPOSiteScript <Site script ID>
Remove-SPOSiteScript cmdlet

Note: If you do not know the Site Script Id you can obtain it by executing: Get-SPOSiteScript

Final thoughts

Creating organizationally-approved Custom List Templates is a great way to extend the value of one solution to others with similar needs. Will a List Template meet everyone needs? Probably not but giving users a well thought-out starting point brings value to them in a very quick manner. Starting small and evolving functionality as processes mature is always a safe bet. Lists are great for tracking processes and have numerous opportunities to add value through automation using List Rules and Power Automate.

Do you have a list design that you have used multiple times? If you answered yes, then it sounds like a good candidate for List Templates.

Let me know in the Comments if you do implement List Templates. I’d be curious to know what templates you created.

Thanks for reading!

NY

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