Getting started

Metadata is an integral part of any SharePoint document management system and classifying content correctly is key to being able to find it. Microsoft’s next wave in the collaboration stakes is Project Cortex. At the heart of this, is value added data.

Completing the metadata classification in SharePoint can be a cumbersome process, especially if there are many fields to complete. Users will often not classify content correctly and simply leave fields blank because this involves switching back to SharePoint.

Introducing Live Metadata for Word and Excel. Live Metadata is an Office add-in that supports editing SharePoint metadata when editing Word documents and Excel spreadsheets.

First time users

Live Metadata requires a connection to SharePoint Online to be able to display document metadata to you. This means you must either:

  • Open the document from SharePoint, or
  • Save a new document in SharePoint.

Points of interest

Live Metadata updates SharePoint when you save the document. If AutoSave is enabled, SharePoint will be updated when the AutoSave triggers. AutoSave is always enabled in the Office web apps.


It can take up to a minute for your changes to be visible in SharePoint. Just refresh the page a few times.


Intelligent metadata discovery engine

Live Metadata works out the correct editable fields to be shown based on the content type of the document. If no additional metadata (other than the title) is displayed, this may mean one of the following:

  1. The Name metadata field is the document filename and cannot be edited as metadata through Live Metadata. Although Office Online products allow the renaming of the document name through the heading area, the document name is not editable metadata.
  2. There is no additional editable metadata specified in the library or content type other than the title field.
  3. System fields (examples listed below) are not editable metadata, these are system edited.
    • Name (filename)
    • ID (item id number)
    • Created (date created)
    • Created by (person created document)
    • Modified (date last modified)
    • Modified by (person last modified document)
    • Version (current version of the file)