How do I create a new column/field?

In this article, you will learn how to create a new Column (also referred to as a Field) in a List App.  A Column stores metadata details/information about each item in the List App.

Note: The instructions in this article are applicable to Administrators in the Top Level Site as well as to Power Users who have Owner permissions on a workspace.

1. Note about Column/Field Names

When creating columns in a List Apps, it is important to be consistent with the internal field names, also referred to the back-end field names. The internal field name is the initial name of the field when it is first created and saved. Once a column is created, it may be renamed to something more user friendly, with a space between words, etc. This new name is the Display Name of the Field. However, the original internal field name never changes.

For example, if you are trying to create the % Complete field, you will need to create a column called PercentComplete in the List App.  It is a recommended best practice to name List Columns as one word without numbers or special characters. If a column is created with a space, the internal field name will later show a combination of characters where the space was.

To find the internal field name of an existing Column/Field, go to the List Settings page. Select the Column name link to view the Column settings. Click the URL address bar. The far right of the URL shows Field=FieldName.

2. Note about Content Types in the List App

If a List App allows multiple content types, some column settings, such as whether information is required or optional for a column, will be specified by the content type of the item. When configuring a List App, all available columns for the list are listed, regardless of content types & view settings.

3. Navigate to the List Settings

Navigate to the List App.  

  1. On the View Toolbar, select the Settings Gear.

4. Create a New Column

Below all the List Columns/Fields, click the Create Column link.

5. Specify the Column Name and Type

  1. Name: Enter the New Column Name.  Note the recommendation for internal field names above.
  2. Type: Select the Column Type.  Column Type options include:
  • Single line of text
  • Multiple lines of text
  • Choice (menu to choose from)
  • Number (1, 1.0, 100)
  • Currency ($, ¥, €)
  • Date and Time
  • Lookup (information already on this site)
  • Yes/No (check box)
  • Person or Group
  • Hyperlink or Picture
  • Calculated (calculation based on other columns)
  • Task Outcome
  • External Data
  • Total Rollup
  • Filtered Lookup (Information from all sites in site collection)
  • Cascading Lookup
  • Work Log Timesheet Entry

6. Configure the Standard Additional Column Settings

  1. Description: If desired, enter a description for this new Column.
  2. Require that this column contains information: This is a Yes/No selection.  When Yes is selected, users must enter data for this field when creating a new item in this List App.  The field will show with a red asterisk if required.
  3. Enforce unique values: This is a Yes/No selection.  When Yes is selected, users must enter unique values for this field for item in the List App. An example of this would be the Project Name (Title) field in Project Center, so there should not be two projects with the same name.  

7. Configure the Field-Type-Specific Additional Field Settings

The Additional Column Settings options vary, as they are based on the type of Column/Field selected above.  Configure the Field Settings as needed and based on the type of field.

8. Configure Add to Default View Setting

Check the box for whether or not to add this new Column in the default view for this List App.

If Content Types are in use in this List App, there is also an option to add the field to all Content Types in this List App.

9. Save and Close New Column

When finished, click OK.

10. Modify Newly Created Column

If needed, open the Column again to modify it to change the Internal Field Name to a different Display Name.  

10.1. Modify Column Display Name

  1. The Internal Field Name doesn't change.  The Internal Field Name is found in the URL of the Column Settings page.
  2. Modify the Column's Display Name in the Column Name section as needed.  

 

10.2. Save and Close Column Settings

When finished, click OK.

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