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Imagine you have an enormous spreadsheet in excel. If you wanted to find a few certain items it would be extremely hard if the only way you could find them was to scroll through the whole list. Fortunately, excel has the ability to filter data and make views so that finding certain data is easier. What is even more fortunate, is that SharePoint lists and libraries have this same functionality.
Data can be sorted on the fly by clicking on the column name or you can make a view so that you don't have to keep resorting data. Many clients that are first getting used to the SharePoint environment often don't know about the power of views and yet they are one of the most simple and easy customizable features of SharePoint.
By default, SharePoint lists and document libraries start with an All Documents or All Items view and from those any number of different views can be made. That way there can be a clean, useful view for various situations instead of have one cluttered view that's trying to do everything.
Figure 1: The View Type Page
Note: There are five view formats provided with SharePoint: the Standard, Calendar, Datasheet, Access database, and the Gantt project management view. A sixth option allows you to create a custom view in SharePoint Designer. For more information about views in SharePoint, see Appendix D, "Views."
Figure 2: The Create View Page
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