How do I Configure my Cascading Drop-Down Metadata for a Snippet Library?


SmartDocs allows you to configure cascading metadata fields where the value selected in the first field drives the list of values made available in the second field. For example, if you wanted to set up two-levels of cascading metadata called Category and Subcategory, the selection in the Category field would drive the selections available in the Subcategory field.

Step 1: Configure Your Cascading Metadata

To begin configuring your cascading metadata, you first need to create a SharePoint column for your Reusable Snippets library that contains all of the cascading values:

  • Create a new Choice column (drop-down menu) for your Reusable Snippets library. The name of this column should match the top-most level of your cascading metadata. In the example above, the name of this SharePoint column would be Category.
  • In the Require that this column contains information field, indicate whether or not the user must select a value from the cascading metadata fields.
  • In the Type each choice on a separate line field, enter all of your cascading metadata values, separating each level of metadata with the > (greater than) sign.

In the example above, your list of metadata values might look like this.

Company > Awards

Company > Descriptions

Company > Financials

Company > Mission

Company > Other

Compliance > Ethics

Compliance > HIPPA

Compliance > Policies and Procedures

Compliance > Other

References > Customer

References > Press

References > Other

The screenshot below shows what the settings for the Category column in the example above would look like.

Step 2: Configure Cascading Metadata in Your SmartDocs Repository Registry List

Once you have configured the SharePoint column that contains your cascading metadata values for your Reusable Snippets library, then you must configure the cascading metadata fields in your SmartDocs Repository Registry list. The table below shows the three fields that must be configured.

The screenshot below shows the configuration in the SmartDocs Repository Registry list for our example above.

In the example above, once the configuration is complete, SmartDocs will now recognize the values in the Category column as cascading metadata and display this cascading metadata in two drop-down menus that are labeled Category and Subcategory. When you select a value in the first drop-down menu (Category), you will then see a filtered list of options in the second drop-down menu (Subcategory).


  • If Microsoft® Word is open when you make changes your SmartDocs Repository Registry list, then you will need to re-synchronize your SmartDocs repository connections from the SmartDocs Repository Connections dialog box, or close and re-open Microsoft Word in order for the changes to take effect.
  • In the Reusable Snippets Cascading Metadata Columns, be sure to enter the internal name of the SharePoint column, not the display name. In most cases, the internal name and display name are the same. However, if you have changed the name of a SharePoint column after creating it, the internal name will still be the original name and the display name will be the updated name. The internal name of a SharePoint column is static and never changes once the SharePoint column is created.
  • You can configure multiple sets of cascading drop-down metadata lists. To do so, you can follow the steps above to set up another SharePoint column for your Reusable Snippets library, and then add additional entries to the Reusable Snippets Cascading Metadata Columns and Reusable Snippets Cascading Metadata Labels fields in your SmartDocs Repository Registry list. Make sure to separate each set of entries with a semicolon.
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