Open term sets in modern lists: is this the user experience?

New Contributor

I'm trying to encourage users to make appropriate use of managed metadata in lists, for better discoverability and information linkage.  However, they would prefer using plain text columns to more easily add new metadata values. They (quite reasonably) don't like having to contact a termstore administrator to expand the term sets.


I thought open term sets would be a good compromise, allowing centrally-managed metadata values, while giving users the freedom to extend certain term sets with new terms.


Having set up a list with a managed metadata column that allows "fill-in" choices, I'm concerned that the process of adding new terms is excessively complicated.


Here's what a user has to do to add a new term, after adding an item to the list:


1. In the edit form's field, click the Add Tag button (because you can't just type your new term into the empty box).
2. Click the small link at the bottom of the page: Return to Classic (because you can't add a term from the modern edit form(?!).
3. Click the Add Tag button (again!), this time on the Classic form.
4. Click the Add New Term link at the top of the term selection form.
5. Type in the new term.

6. Click OK


Trying to sell users on the benefit of managed metadata is a hard ask, when it involves forcing them through a 6-step process instead of 1-step process for plain text fields.


Is there an easier way to do this?

3 Replies
best response confirmed by Phillip_Stewart (New Contributor)

@Phillip_Stewart I struggled with this too but I think I found the secret. The UX does not make it obvious at all! First, the term set needs to be set as OPEN. Second, you need to make sure that the column is set to Allow fill-in values.


Assuming that is true, editors can add new values by clicking the little tags icon, scrolling to the term set name at the top of the list of values, clicking the vertical ellipsis, and selecting New Term (see image). Typing the name of the term adds the term and selects it.


Oh wow, thanks Susan!

I had completely missed that little menu under the vertical ellipsis! Yes, that's much easier!
That menu don't work for me.

My Termset is a site collection one. Set to "Open"
The Site columns allows Fill in choices and multiple values

I can add terms via the grid view . But nothing happens when i add a value for the new term and click on Enter. (Both Edge and Chrome)