Simple SharePoint FAQ in 5 Minutes

Applies To: SharePoint

A common requirement/feature of sites is to have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section. This is a quick and easy way to provide help to end users. A FAQ is nothing more than a series of questions with their answers.

This can be implemented in a variety of ways but the standard way is to have the question above the answer all on a single page. This isn’t always the best way, but it’s certainly the most common and recognizable way.

Fortunately SharePoint makes this really easy using a custom list and only takes about 5 minutes to setup. This can be done in SharePoint 2007 or 2010 in both MOSS/Server and WSS/Foundation. Here’s the steps:

  1. Create a custom list. Name it FAQ or something.
  2. Edit the Title column and rename it Question.
  3. Add a new Column of type Multi-Line Text and name it Answer
  4. Modify the default view to only show those 2 columns and set the style to Newsletter.

That’s it! You end up with something like this:

FAQ in SharePoint 2007

FAQ in SharePoint 2010

You can then place this on a page using a ListView Web Part or just link directly to the main view. WOWEE!

Want to get fancy? Add another column called Order of type Number and use it to set custom ordering values and just sort by that column in your view.
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14 thoughts on “Simple SharePoint FAQ in 5 Minutes

  1. Hi Chris

    I have created a few of these FAQs (SP 2010) and added now, as tests. (don’t have a ‘newsletter’ style setting) It all works however, – under the top title bar there is another bar where the column titles appear, or in our preferred view, where the answers need to be expanded, just the title ‘answer’ appears. Plus a tick box. If answers are expanded the box can be ticked and the expanded answers are highlighted.

    Are you able to tell me the function this tick box might be meant to provide. Is it a filter ? It will be confusing for users as it is so noone has used this tool yet. I can change the title Answers to anything as it is meaningless to have it appear in concertina’d view. Not finding any other options.
    Cheers

    • Jeanette, thanks for your comments! I believe you are referring to the item select box that comes standard when using the listviewwebpart. This is provided to allow people to select item(s) and then use the ribbon up top to perform actions (such as delete). You can remove this by going to View Settings, Tabular View and unchecking the box next to Allow individual item checkboxes.

  2. it’s very useful method. thanks a lot
    if i have new problem, could you help me ?
    i am form china, i new learner from sharepoint

  3. Thank you!! I am a novice with SharePoint, and have been teaching myself as I go revamping my organization’s site! I’d be lost without your information.

  4. Really Helpful info, I think I will be using your site more often as my SharePoint knowledge is Pants!
    Thanks for the help!

  5. Hi and thank you !! I would like to create a FAQ with screen dump in the answer. Is it possible to insert pictures in my answers ?

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  7. Thanks Chris! I did try it in the SP 2013. It worked very well. I need to include the search box on the top. Like it appears on the standard view page. Any advise?

    • I looked into this and couldn’t get it to work either. It looks like anything other than the default style doesn’t seem to have the InPlaceSearch. This is regardless of the InplaceSearchEnabled attribute being set to True or False. I imagine this could be solved with some clever JSLink or XSL, but that would definitely go beyond the basic OOTB approach I was going for here. I’ll let you know should I come across any way of getting this to work. Thanks for the feedback!

  8. I’ve setup the FAQ page as described, but it seems it does not like to “keep” the Newsletter format. We’re running SharePoint via Office365 so not sure if that is impacting it or not. I can click on “Return to classic SharePoint” and the view will switch to the Newsletter view, but it does not keep that view when I exit SharePoint. Any suggestions?

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