Introduction to Choice And Number Columns Type in SharePoint

In the previous article, I have explained everything about Multiple lines of text columns type in SharePoint lists. We have seen the different behavior of columns in List and Library. Now, in this article, let’s cover two more important column types available in SharePoint – Choice, and Number. We will be exploring these column types in details.

In this article, I am going to cover following topics in details,

  • Background
  • Introduction to Number column types
  • Introduction to Choice column types
  • Summary


Until now, we have seen that if we want to store less data and plain text, in that case, we should use a “Single line of text” column type, and when we have to store large data and rich data, then we have to use “Multiple lines of text” column type. Now, consider a scenario where we have to store the salary or age.

The salary and the age data will be less and they also require plain text but can we use Single Line of text for storing this data? Yes, we can make use of Single lines of text column to store the salary and age, but we also know that age and salary are always in numeric form. They do not include any textual character in this.

So, using a Single line of text column for storing age and salary will not result in a fruitful decision. So, SharePoint allows a column type called Number that allows only numeric data to store. When user will try to save text character in Number field, SharePoint will validate and throws an error and the item will be not saved until and unless the user has input the correct numeric values.

Also sometimes we have to enter some predefined text into the input box such as department, we know that department will be having some fixed sort of values like HR, Sales, Marketing etc.

So using Single line of text for storing department may lead to error data as a human makes mistakes while typing the words, someone can type Sales as Salse, then this will make error-prone data. So if we already have some predefined set of data from which user can select the data, then, in that case, we use Radio Button, Check-boxes, and drop-downs. SharePoint provides all of these types in single column type known as Choice. Now let’s see in details about these columns types in this article.

Introduction to the Number column

Number column type in SharePoint will only allow storing the numeric data. Numeric data can also contain positive, negative, decimal, exponential data. So -1, 1, 1.1, 1e can be stored into Numeric data type column. Other than these values everything will be invalid. For example, d12, 12d etc will be invalid data for this column. In order to create the column you can refer List Columns in SharePoint. Just select Number while creating columns. There are several properties available in Number column types. For reference see below image.



  • You can specify a minimum and maximum allowed value

    • This property is used in a scenario where you want to force your user to enter data between two numbers. For example, if you want your user to be able to enter a value between 10 and 20, so write 10 in the first text box and 20 into the second text box. This will validate user to enter the data between 10 to 20. Any other range value will not be allowed then.

  • Number of decimal places

    • You can configure the place of decimal using this configuration. These have values up to 5.

  • Default Number

    • If you want to set any default number to the column you can specify that here.

  • Show as percentage

    • You can also display your numeric values into percentage if this checkbox is checked.

All other properties are common and available all column types and that are already discussed in Multiple Lines Of Text Column Type in SharePoint

Introduction to Choice Column

Choice column allows a user to select values from predefined values. The choice column can be used to create drop-down control, radio button control, and checkbox controls. It also allows a user to enter the value manually but for this, you need to configure the column to accept that. This column type can be used to take input for category, department, city, gender, hobbies and many more. There are several unique properties are available along with the common properties. The unique properties are shown in the below image.



  • Type each choice on a separate line

    • Here you have to write your predefined values. New values must be written as new lines. For example, if you want to mention gender, Male and Female, then both the values should be in different lines, otherwise, it will consider it as one value.

  • Display choices using

    • Using this setting you can choose your control to render while taking data into a choice column. Here, you can select any one among Drop-Drop, radio buttons and Check-boxes.

  • Allow ‘Fill-in’ choices

    • In some scenario, the user does not want to select your predefined values for the column, or user has its own values to enter, in such cases you can select Allow ‘Fill-in’ choice to Yes. If it is selected as yes, then in that case while entering the data user will have an additional control where user can specify their own values. The additional control is shown in the below-given image.



Specify that your own value will be added in every type of render control if you have checked “Allow ‘Fill-in’ choices” to Yes.


So in this article, we have explored every aspect of Choice column type and Number column types available in SharePoint. We have also seen the properties available with each of the column types in details with scenario based example.

In the next article, I am going to cover Currency and Yes/No column types available in SharePoint.

Any question or feedback or suggestion, please do comment and let me know.


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