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SharePoint Selection Field Options

A SharePoint tutorial by Peter Kalmstrom

SharePoint iconThe kalmstrom.com CEO, Peter Kalmstrom is a Microsoft certified SharePoint specialist and trainer, and in the demo below he shows how to create fields where users can choose between several alternatives. Peter demonstrates all the four kinds of selectors available in SharePoint.

Peter uses the SharePoint Task list and a Task Category field for his demonstration, but the principles are the same for all SharePoint lists.

These are the four selector or dropdown fields Peter describes. The screenshots show how the alternatives are entered:
  • SharePoint Choice dropdown screenshotChoice. This selector is easy to create, but it is more complicated to change and SharePoint does not sort the entries alphabetically. Therefore it is most suitable for selections that are seldom changed.
  • SharePoint Lookup dropdown screenshot Lookup. Here the alternatives are fetched from another list on the same SharePoint site. It is easy to add or change alternatives, but the creation is more complicated than the Choice selector. With this alternative SharePoint will sort the entries in alphabetical order.
  • SharePoint Managed Metadata dropdown screenshot Managed Metadata. One of the benefits with this option is that it is possible to create sublevels. You may also add synonyms or abbreviations that may be used instead of the actual terms, and you can allow users to add alternatives from within the Task item.
  • SharePoint External data dropdown screenshotExternal data. This option requires that you create an External Content Type in SharePoint Designer. Peter connects his field to a table in an SQL Server database.

You might also be interested in the kalmstrom.com Tips article on how to Import Managed Metadata from Excel to the SharePoint Term Store.


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