DocLib, columns, server-side properties and document properties

Imaging the following scenario:

You have a document library with an additional column called Year and is “formatted” as Choice. Remember that Choice will be a Text field!



You have a local document that contains already a document property called Year and is a number with decimals.

image Hint: Comma is the decimal separator in this case!


How it looks after we uploaded that document to the DocLib?



Remember: With promotion and demotion we will take properties out of the document to show these as server-side properties!

Is that a problem that we see the old value 2.5 as a float number? Word in this case has the ability to store document properties as integer or float numbers. In case you would like to know more, unzip the docx file and look for the custom.xml. In that file the document properties are stored.


In the following picture the first one will be an integer and the second one a float. When something else will save those information as document properties, there could be also “2013” with “r8” and that means the “other” stored that number in a float formatted property and should not try to “optimize” that format. Word can do it because in case of an error the human who edited it can fix an issue.


The author who uploaded the document will now edit the server-side properties (columns):



And the result is:


I chose a 4 digits number and SharePoint shows it as a float? Will that new number be also stored in the document as a document property? Answer: NO!


There will be still the value we had from the beginning and during the life-time of the document, that stays in the DocLib, it will not be touched. Only the content-type will be saved in that way.

What the author can do now with that server-side property Year to be shown as a human wants to see?

  • You can remove the document property.
  • You can change the type of the document property to Text.
  • You can change the value of the document property to be an integer. Remember: As a human you can fix if an error occurs and Word can optimize if integer would be enough!





Be careful when you work with columns and upload documents that may contain custom document properties with the same name. Last but not least the author of each document is not only responsible for the content, also for the “Metadata” and that means document properties and server-side properties with its data.


My first post when a column will be deleted

Office 2007 Files and LINQ

How to Disable Property Promotion In WSS

Walkthrough: Word 2007 XML Format

Building Word 2007 Documents Using Office Open XML Formats

Document Parser Processing

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