Brian Blogs on SharePoint

Information, curiosities, and observations about SharePoint and the community.

Using ‘Send To’ context menu option

Posted by Brian Gough on September 2, 2009

OK gentle reader, this is a long one, so grab your double-caf-half-caf-diet latte and get comfortable… here we go…

One of the options available to a document library item is the “Send To” option found in the context menu.

This offers several choices as you can see and another option can be made available that is not shown yet. First we will touch on what is shown above…

Download a Copy – this sounds pretty self-explanatory, but there is a small twist. When you choose this option you get the dialog box shown giving you the option to open or save the document.

Choosing ‘Open’ will do just that, open the document.

Choosing ‘Save’ will open the ‘Save As’ dialog box so you can save a copy of the document to your local workstation or network drive.

Email a Link – this will open your default email client and insert a link to the document in the body of the email. You can then add your recipients and subject and send the email. The recipients will then have a link they can click that will points directly to that document, not the library.


Create Document Workspace – This option will create a sub site using the Document Workspace site template and a copy of the document into the ‘Shared Documents’ library of the new sub site. This could be very useful but it depends on what you want over all is a bit out of scope for this article. I will touch on Document Workspace in a separate article.


Other Location – this option gets a bit involved… Basically it gives you the option to add one or more document library locations to copy the document to, and it keeps track of those locations for future updates and copying.

The first time you choose this option you see this…

It pre-fills the destination with the current sites URL, and file name is pre-filled with the name of the document you are working against. Unfortunately there is no “browse” feature to search through a list of document libs on the current site or navigate a site collection. You have to get the full URL to the document library you wish to copy to and insert that URL in the Destination textbox. Use the ‘click here to test’ link to make sure your URL takes you to the correct document library. The destination MUST be a document library or an error will be thrown in a later step.
The option to create an alert is exactly that; it will create an alert so you are notified anytime that document is updated.
The option ‘Prompt the author to send out updates when the document is checked in?’ will provide an option to update your copies when you use the ‘Publish Major Version’ context menu. Notice the option at the bottom of the screen shot below.


If you choose ‘Yes’ to update the copies, you will see a screen similar to the one below asking you to choose which location(s) you wish to receive the updated copy and SharePoint will automatically copy the published version to that location(s).

When you click OK, you will see a screen like this to verify the location(s) you chose.

You will then be shown a screen to let you know if it was successful or not. If you did not put in a URL pointing to a document library, this is where you will see the error thrown.

After you have done this process once, the context menu will change for that document.

Notice there is now an ‘Existing Copies’ option. Choosing that option will show a screen much like we saw earlier but showing the destinations associated to the document.

Choose the locations you want to send a copy and the steps are just like you encountered earlier.

All pretty slick and it works like a charm. So this could be a viable option if you find that you really need to copy your content to alternate location(s).

But what happens if you need to remove a destination? I bet you did not notice that an option for that has not been seen in any of the menu options huh? Admit it, you did not even think about this little piece did you? J

That’s OK, I got your back.

If you have to remove a destination from a document for whatever reason; it no longer exists, or is no longer needed, you can manage your destinations very easily.

In the context menu for the document, choose ‘View Properties’.

You will now see the menu bar with a new option available, ‘Manage Copies’.

Clicking ‘manage Copies’ opens a window like this.

From here you can manage the destinations and add new destinations. Notice the destinations are grouped by those that prompt for update and those that do not.

Clicking the ‘Update Copies’ will open the ‘Update Copies’ window we have seen before where you can choose which destinations get updated. This way you do not have to check in the document again, you can just push it out as is.


Clicking the edit icon opens a window much like we saw at the beginning of this process, with a new button for ‘Remove Link’.

Now you can update the settings as you need or remove the link all together.

Well I guess that about covers it… but wait there’s more!

One last thing to bring to your attention and then we can all get back to work…

Not all of our users may be that computer savvy and expecting them to get a full URL to a document library, let alone multiple document libraries, may be a bit to ask. There may be a solution for that…

…a custom ‘Send To’ option. Calm down… I do not mean you have to hire a developer to create a custom solution for you. SharePoint already makes this available to you. Isn’t that nice of them?!

This option makes it possible to have one single destination where all the documents in a library can have a context menu option for sending a copy to, and do it with a simple mouse click.

Here’s how to set this up…

Go into the settings for your document library and click the ‘Advanced Settings’ option.

A little more than halfway down the screen you should see an option for ‘Custom Send To Destination’.

Here you can enter a name for your destination and the URL to a Document Library

You can see I named my destination ‘Shared Docs’ and gave it the URL for the Shared Documents library. It should go without saying that the name should be somewhat descriptive so users get an idea of where it is going. Duh?

Click OK and then go back into your doc lib.

Now the context menu will show your custom option for users to leverage, and it is available to all the documents in the library.


Pretty slick huh? Unfortunately each document library can only have one custom send to destination. If you really need to have multiple locations, then you will need to use the ‘other locations’ option.

So, that should cover “Send To” about as deep as I can. I hope you found this useful.


Happy coding!!



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