SharePoint Online is a collection of Web-based tools and technologies that help your organization store, share, and manage digital information. Built on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, this hosted service is ideal for working on projects, storing data and documents in a central location, and sharing information with others. The following Content features makes Enterprise Content Management (ECM) easy for everyone. It's the combination of traditional content management, social capabilities, and powerful search.

Accessibility Standards Support

Most SharePoint user interface (UI) elements, such as links, form controls, and buttons are designed to use Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA). MSA enables people with disabilities to interact with content by using assistive technologies, such as a screen reader. Learn more about Accessibility features.

Asset Library Enhancements/Video Support

An Asset Library is pre-configured to use special features that help users manage rich media assets, such as image, audio, and video files. Learn more about Asset Library.


SharePoint Online site collection administrators can use the audit feature to track which users have taken what actions on the sites, content types, lists, libraries, list items, and library files of site collections. Learn more about configuring audit settings for a site collection.

Auditing & Reporting (e.g., doc edits, policy edits, deletes)

SharePoint Online site collection administrators can use the audit feature to track which users have taken what actions on the sites, content types, lists, libraries, and list items of site collections. Learn more about configuring audit settings for a site collection.


Only available for Private Site Collections. A catalog is a library or list that is shared across other sites and site collections. Learn how to enable a library or list as a catalog.

Category page and catalog item page

Only available for Private Site Collections. Category pages and catalog item pages are page layouts that you can use for catalog content that you want to display consistently across your site. Learn how to customize page layouts for catalog-based sites.

Content Organizer

The Content Organizer acts as a gatekeeper for documents. You can automatically manage some important library tasks, such as managing folder sizes and routing documents to different libraries or folders. This not only saves time, but can help make sure that a document library is managed consistently. Learn more about Content Organizer.

Cross-Site Publishing

Only available for Private Site Collections. Cross-site publishing is a publishing method. It lets you create and maintain content in one or more authoring site collections and publish that content across one or more publishing site collections using Search Web Parts. Learn how to activate the Cross-Site Publishing feature.

Design Manager

Design Manager lets organizations change master pages, page layouts, mobile views, and more. This feature is especially useful for advanced site design and branding to your public-facing website or your internal site collection or portal. Learn more about site development.

Document Sets

Document sets let users store, act on, export, and add a description to multiple files as a single entity. Policies, tagging, and templates can be applied to any document set that is created. Learn more about Document Sets.

Document Translation in Word for the web

In Reading View, Word for the web now features an option to let organizations translate their documents directly in the browser. Even document comments are translated.

eDiscovery search allows users to search for electronically stored information (ESI) that can be used as evidence for compliance and litigation support. Searchable content includes structured content, like documents and list items, as well as blogs, wikis, newsfeeds, and content in Exchange mailboxes. To be discoverable, content must be indexed by search. For more information, see Create and run eDiscovery queries.

eDiscovery Hold

Applying a hold means preserving a copy of the original content in case it's modified or deleted by a user. Holds can be placed on content in SharePoint sites (including OneDrive for Business sites) and in Exchange mailboxes (including archived Skype for Business conversations). A hold is used to retain the content in its original form at the time when the hold is applied. When users apply a hold to a site or mailbox, the content remains in-place in its original location. For more information, see Add content to an eDiscovery case and place sources on hold.

eDiscovery Export

When users are ready to deliver eDiscovery content to an authority or want to work on it with another legal program, they can export content from the eDiscovery Center. When content is exported, it's delivered in a standard EDRM format that can be used by other eDiscovery programs. An Electronic Discovery Reference Model XML manifest is included with the search results to provide metadata about the exported items. For more information, see Export eDiscovery content and create reports.

External Sharing: External Access

If your organization performs work that involves sharing documents or collaborating directly with vendors, clients, or customers, then you might want to use one or more of your SharePoint Online sites to share content with people outside your organization who do not have licenses for your organization's Microsoft Office 365 subscription. When a site is shared in SharePoint Online, an email message is sent to the external user containing the invitation to join the site. Invitations can be sent to people with any type of email address, such as,, or External users sign in to the shared site via a one-time association of their email address with a Microsoft account. Learn more about external sharing.

Site users can generate a Guest Link (an anonymous link to a document) to share documents stored in SharePoint Online with external users without requiring the external user to sign in. Site users can create a Guest Link right from where the document is stored, such as in OneDrive for Business or a team site library, by using the "Get a link" button. Learn more about sharing a site with external users.

Faceted navigation

Faceted navigation help users browser for content more easily by filtering on refiners that are tied to terms in a term set. By using faceted navigation, SharePoint Server 2013 administrators can configure different refiners for different terms in a term set without having to create additional pages. Only authenticated SharePoint Online users can access private site collections with faceted navigation.

Folder Sync

Users can sync a SharePoint library to their computers, and then work with those files in the library by using File Explorer. Updates to files sync to SharePoint when users are online. OneDrive for Business or a document library on a team site can be synched. Learn more about syncing a library to your computer.

Image Renditions

Image renditions let organizations have large source images on a SharePoint site and also have places on a site where pages only use smaller versions.

Information Rights Management (IRM)

SharePoint Online IRM uses Azure Information Protection, an information protection technology in Office 365. IRM protection is applied to files at the SharePoint list and library levels. Learn more about IRM in SharePoint Online.

Managed metadata service

Metadata management provides multiple taxonomies and folksonomies from a tenant-level store service that can be consumed at the site collection level. Metadata fields can even be embedded in documents. Learn more about managed metadata.

Metadata-driven Navigation

Metadata-driven navigation makes it easier to discover content in large lists and libraries. User tagging incentives are introduced and offer anticipatory suggestions of appropriate metadata based on location and context. Learn more about setting up metadata navigation.

Multi-stage Disposition

Retentions policies can have multiple stages, allowing you to specify the entire document lifecycle as one policy. For example, review contracts every year, and delete after seven years. Learn more about storing and managing records.

Office for the web (create/edit)

If you're an Office 365 customer, then you can automatically create and edit Office files using Office for the web from an Internet browser. To learn which features are available in Office for the web, see Office for the web Service Description.

Office for the web (view)

By default, Office for the web is view-only. View-only functionality is provided for free. Learn more about using Office for the web in your organization's SharePoint site.

Office Web Apps Server integration

Not applicable to SharePoint Online customers. In SharePoint Server 2010, Office Web Apps is a SharePoint service application. For SharePoint Server 2013, there is a new Office server product, Office Web Apps Server. A single Office Web Apps Server farm can support users who access Office files through SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, shared folders, and websites. This lets you deploy and manage the online version of Office in an on-premises environment. Learn more about Office Web Apps Server Integration.

Preservation hold library

Content that is placed on hold is preserved, but users can still change it. The state of the content at the time of preservation is recorded. If a user changes the content or even deletes it, the item is retained at the time of deletion and the original, preserved version is still available. Learn more about placing content sources on hold.

Publishing Analytics

The Analytics Processing Component helps administrators identify and surface content that users consider to be the most useful and relevant. The component analyzes both the content itself (Search analytics), and also the way users interact with it (Usage analytics). The results from the analysis are added to the items in the search index so that search relevance improves automatically over time. Also, the results are used in reports that help search administrators see which manual steps they can take to improve the search system. Learn more about analytics processing in SharePoint Server 2013.

Quick Edit

Quick Edit, formerly known as Datasheet View, allows you to simply and quickly edit items inline on a SharePoint list. Quick Edit can be helpful if you have to edit many items in a list or library at the same time from within a grid, similar to a spreadsheet. Learn more about editing list items.

Records management

In SharePoint, you can manage records in an archive or you can manage records in-place in the same document repository as active documents. Learn more about choosing how to store and manage records.

Recycle Bin (SharePoint admin center)

SharePoint Online administrators can restore a deleted site collection by using SharePoint admin center. To learn more, see Restore a deleted site collection.

Recycle Bin (site collection)

SharePoint users have a Recycle Bin where deleted content is stored. They can access the Recycle Bin to recover deleted documents and lists, if they need to. Items in the Recycle Bin are retained for 90 days. The following data types are captured by the Recycle Bin:

  • Site collections

  • Sites

  • Lists

  • Libraries

  • Folders

  • List items

  • Documents

  • Web Part pages

Site customizations made through SharePoint Designer are not captured by the Recycle Bin.

To learn more, see Manage the Recycle Bin of a SharePoint site collection.

Search web parts

Only available for Private Site Collections. Search web parts help you render search results on SharePoint web pages. There are several search driven web parts, including Content Search, Catalog-Item Reuse, Items Matching a Tag, Pages, Pictures, Popular Items, Recently Changed Items, Recommended Items, Videos, Web Pages, and Wiki pages. The Content Search Web Part (CSWP) uses search technology to display content. When visitors browse to a page that contains a CSWP, the Web Part automatically issues a query and the search results are displayed within the CSWP. In most cases, visitors won't even know that search technology is being used to display the content they're viewing. To them, it will look and feel like any other webpage. Learn how to configure the Content Search Web Part.

Shared Content Types

To share content types among site collections, you make on content type gallery the "hub" of a managed metadata service, create connections to the service from each web application that contains a site collection, and specify that site collections should use the content types in the service. Learn more about sharing term sets and content types in SharePoint Server 2013.

SharePoint Translation Services

The Machine Translation Service lets users automatically translate documents. You can create a Machine Translation service application and configure the Machine Translation Service by using Central Administration, or Windows PowerShell. Learn more about creating and configuring Machine Translation services in SharePoint Server 2013.

Site mailbox

A site mailbox is a shared inbox in Exchange Online that members of a SharePoint Online site can access. It is implemented in SharePoint Online as an app. You need both Exchange Online and SharePoint Online to read, organize, reply to, or delete mail from a site mailbox in SharePoint.

Unique Document IDs

The unique Document ID services improves the managing and tracking of information by assigning a unique, human-readable identifier to every piece of content, making it easier to locate, even if the content was moved from its original location. Learn more about Document IDs.

An Asset Library is pre-configured to use special features that help you manage rich media assets, such as image, audio, and video files. Learn more about setting up an Asset Library to store image, audio, or video files.

WCM: Search Engine Optimizations (SEO)

Optimizing a public website for search is very important to connecting with new and returning customers. SharePoint Online includes built-in SEO features, such as customizable robots.txt and page-level metatagging so organizations can easily tune sites for better search results.

Word Automation Services

Not available to SharePoint Online customers. Word Automation Services enables unattended, server-side conversion of documents that are supported by Microsoft Word. With Word Automation Services, tasks that previously required you to run the Word desktop application can be automated in SharePoint Server 2013.

Feature Availability

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see SharePoint Online Service Description.