One of the limitations of using Managed Metadata fields in SharePoint 2010 is the inability to use the datasheet view. This is a little annoying, especially if you want to be able to bulk edit Managed Metadata fields.
Whilst maybe not the best solution there is a number of ways that you can edit Managed Metadata fields that may make the process of updating these fields easier.
So lets assume that we have the following Document Library below. The column ‘Category’ is a Managed Metadata column that we associated a specific category to a document that exists in this library:
Standard Browser Editing
As with other columns you can always edit Managed Metadata columns through the Web Interface quickly and easily. There are a number of ways to get to editing the item but either way you will end up with being able to type-ahead or select a value from a list of options. Remember though that this will only let you edit one item at a time:
Office Client Editing
The other way to edit Managed Metadata is through the Office client interface. You can go into the backstage view and perform the same operation as through the standard browser option above. However you need to have Office 2010, Managed Metadata columns are NOT supported to be editing in Office 2007:
This is a great feature that hardly gets any mention but it works great for Managed Metadata fields. If you have inline editing enabled you can edit Managed Metadata (and other fields) in place without having to go into another screen. I think of it as the poor mans datasheet since you cannot make changes to more than one item at a time, but it does save considerable time editing metadata:
Document Set Shared Columns
Out of the box there is only one way to bulk edit Managed Metadata fields and that is by using a Document Set, creating a managed metadata column, and then setting it as shared. So lets assume that I have a Document Set that I use to store Project Documents:
Once I have created the Document Set and added my Managed Metadata columns to the set, I select the column that I want to share across all content in the set as Shared:
Now if I edit the properties of the Document Set all the values of my shared column called ‘Customer’ will change and be propagated to the contents contained within:
So as you can see there are a number of ways to edit Managed Metadata fields in SharePoint 2010. Although there isn’t an ideal solution to get around the Datasheet issue its good to know that there are plenty of options available.