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Article Type is mandatory because it affects where the Article can be viewed from, specifically when it is classified as an FAQ. You could just create an article template the prepopulates the field and then enter all of the other values that you want.
What are you using the categorisation to denote with respect to the article?
I think at best you will encouraged to raise an enhancement request. This issue of LDSD using an unusual way of cateorisation has been there since day 1. Just learn to love it :-)
I would like the categorisation to do the same thing as the article type. I don't know whose idea it was to use a hyperlink as the only way to fill this field in and then to make it mandatory? It means I can't control it in the same way I can for other categories; for example, importing fields from a spreadsheet.
Can you elaborate on how this affects the way articles are viewed?
Ok, as we've already seen, we need to populate that list with something. When you get down to it, the only real value that affects the functionality of the product is when you define an article as an FAQ. Portal will only allow articles that have that classification to be added to the FAQ module. Apart from that you can just have a single value for everything. If you're trying to import from a spreadsheet that is still possible as it's just another object. If you talking about importing your articles from a spreadsheet, just make sure you have a column that holds the Article Type attribute and use something you have already created such as Article.
Does that help a bit more?
An old post i know but... I've just done the very same thing in 783. Filled Article Type in with a template as I couldn't remove or hide it from the window and then save an new article
We're not going to use Article Type as it's another thing that needs administering. We're relying on the indexing for knowledge results generation and so far so good
Might be different when we go to Self Service Knowledge though