The Keywords field vs. the Enterprise Keywords field in SharePoint 2010

During my deep dive session on document and records management with Mike Fortgens (@MikeFortgens) last week we got a bit confused about the fact that SharePoint 2010 has a Keywords site column and an Enterprise Keywords site column. The Keywords site column is stored in the “Core Document Columns” category and is of the “Multiple Lines of Text” type.

 Screenshot of Core Document Columns

The Enterprise Keywords column is stored in the “Enterprise Keywords Group” category and is of the “Managed Metadata” type.

Screenshot of Enterprise Keywords Group

The last column is what you would expect in SharePoint 2010, it’s the site column that stores it’s contents in the Keywords term set in the Managed Metadata Service Application.

Screenshot of Keywords Term Set

So what does the other Keywords column do?

Adding the column to the list shows you can manually enter values in the column, but that it won’t store the values in the Keywords term set in the term store. However adding both the Keywords and the Enterprise Keywords columns to a list has some unexpected behavior. Keywords that are added to the Enterprise Keywords column are also copied to the Keywords column and visa versa. It turns out that this is actually expected behavior to support an easy upgrade from the old 2007 Keywords field (of the Multiple Lines of Text type) to the new Enterprise Keywords field (of the Managed Metadata Type). The synchronization behavior is automatically enabled as soon as the Enterprise Keywords field is added to a list or library. It’s even described on the “Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings” page in the Library settings.

Screenshot of Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings page

Comments -
  1. Gravatar

    Pues nada un mes más y por este año ya vale, aquí os dejo un nuevo recopilatorio

  2. Gravatar

    I would add one more interesting thing: once you added Enterprise Keywords into the document library and it has several content types, then next time when you go to "Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings" it will show another check box on the top: "Apply Enterprise Keywords to all content types on this list". If you will select it and click Ok - then next time it you will come to "Enterprise Metadata and Keywords Settings" then original text will be shown again, but it will be disabled now. Not straightforward user experience decision from my point of view.

  3. Gravatar

    That was short and helpful!

  4. Gravatar

    And what is the difference between those fields and the Metadata field?

  5. Gravatar

    Once the 'Enterprise Keywords' column is added to a Library does this mean when you add a value in there this will become a Tag for the user?????

  6. Gravatar

    Hi Matt,

    The Enterprise Keywords field is a special type of Managed Metadata column.
    More information on this can be found here:

    Hope that helps.


  7. Gravatar

    Hi Mpumie,

    The keywords column is not the same thing as a tag. If a user tags a page using the "Tags and Notes" button on the top right of a page then that tag is added to the user's tags.

    These tags can be selected from teh Enterprise Keywords term set though, so there is some overlap in there.


  8. Gravatar

    How enterprise keywords helps in search..??? I

  9. Gravatar

    One thing I learned about the Keywords column and Photographic Images in an Asset Library is that values put into this field will be added to the image's EXIF keyword variable. When the image is downloaded and reimported in another application that can read EXIF information embedded within digital photographs, you will be able to access the keyword string. Although EXIF is a large standard that can vary between digital camera manufacturers, there are a few fields that are preserved across all manufacturers and keywords seems to be one of them.

  10. Gravatar

    Hi, I have an Assets Library with both Keywords and Enterprise Keywords fields. However, the enterprise keywords field is inactive and I cannot fill it out. Do I understand correctly, that nevertheless data entered under keywords field will populate enterprise keywords field automatically?

  11. Gravatar

    The Keywords field vs. the Enterprise Keywords field in SharePoint 2010

  12. Gravatar

    Remove alert | Edit | Delete | Change type
    You cannot vote on your own post
    Hi All,

    I have SharePoint Site where I have multiple lists ,documents and tasks. In the site when I search with the name FTP Services , I am able to find the "FTP Services" Task List.

    In the FTP Services task list I have a column "Description" in which the description of the task is given.

    Now,I am trying to search with a key word "Large" which is there in the description content.I am getting different results when I search with the keyword "Large", however , I don't find the FTP Services Task list in the search.

    I have checked the permission for the list and the user is present in Owner,member and visitor list.The list is inheriting permission from the top level sites.

    In the List permissions , I have enabled the option "Add an enterprise keywords column to the list and enable keyword synchronization" under Enterprise metadata and keyword settings.After performing a full crawl during the weekend , I came back to work today to check if the issue is fixed.I notice that I am still unable to see "FTP Services" task list in the search item.

    Can someone please help

  13. Gravatar

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