How To Use Lookup Column In SharePoint

SharePoint offers a powerful feature called lookup column that allows users to link two lists together, enabling them to bring together related data and streamline their workflow. This feature, also known as linking lists, is particularly useful when managing data relationships in SharePoint.

Lookup columns can be used to connect lists such as an orders list with a customers list, consolidating information and providing a comprehensive view of the data. They can also be used for shorter lists with fixed values, known as choice columns.

To create a lookup column in SharePoint, you need to follow a few simple steps. Start by creating a new list and defining the lookup column. Once the lookup column is defined, you can add data to both lists, establishing the connection between them. Finally, create an app from the primary list to further enhance the user experience.

While lookup columns offer great benefits, it’s important to keep in mind their limitations. For example, lookup columns cannot be created across sites, and there is a maximum limit of 12 lookup columns in a view. However, there are alternative approaches available, such as using the Term Store for metadata management or leveraging Power Apps for more advanced lookup capabilities.

By using lookup columns in SharePoint, you can efficiently manage and consolidate related data from different lists. This feature not only simplifies data organization but also improves collaboration and enhances productivity. So, whether you are working with large-scale projects or smaller lists, lookup columns in SharePoint can be a valuable tool to optimize your workflow.

Understanding Lookup Columns in SharePoint

Before diving into the process of using lookup columns in SharePoint, it is important to understand how they work and their limitations. Lookup columns allow you to connect and consolidate data from different lists in SharePoint, making it easier to manage related information. By linking lists together, you can create more efficient workflows and ensure data integrity.

When defining a lookup column, you select a primary list that contains the data you want to link to. For example, if you have an orders list and a customers list, you can create a lookup column in the orders list to link to the customers list. This allows you to easily access customer information when viewing or editing orders.

However, it is important to note that lookup columns have certain limitations. One limitation is that lookup columns cannot be created across sites. This means that the two lists you want to link must reside within the same SharePoint site. Additionally, there is a limit of 12 lookup columns that can be displayed in a view, so keep this in mind when designing your lists.

Despite these limitations, there are alternative approaches you can consider. One alternative is to use the Term Store in SharePoint for metadata management. The Term Store allows you to centrally manage and categorize data, making it easier to find and organize information. Another alternative is to leverage Power Apps, a powerful tool that allows you to create custom applications with advanced lookup capabilities. Power Apps provides more flexibility and control over how you link and display data in SharePoint.

Summary:

In summary, lookup columns in SharePoint provide a way to connect and consolidate data from different lists. By linking lists together, you can enhance data management and improve workflows. However, it is important to be aware of the limitations of lookup columns, such as the inability to create lookups across sites and the limit on the number of lookup columns in a view. Consider alternative approaches like using the Term Store for metadata management or Power Apps for advanced lookup capabilities to overcome these limitations. Ultimately, lookup columns offer a valuable feature in SharePoint for organizing and accessing related data.

Benefits of Lookup Columns in SharePoint
Connect and consolidate data from different lists
Enhance data management and improve workflows
Link lists to easily access related information

Steps to Create a Lookup Column in SharePoint

To harness the power of lookup columns in SharePoint, follow these steps to create and configure your own lookup column.

Step 1: Create a New List

To begin, create a new list in SharePoint where you want to add the lookup column. This list will serve as the primary list for the lookup column and will contain the data you want to link to another list. Give your list a recognizable name and add any necessary columns or fields.

Step 2: Define the Lookup Column

Next, define the lookup column within the primary list. Navigate to the list settings and select “Create column.” Choose the lookup column option and specify the target list and column you want to link to. You can also choose additional settings, such as whether to allow multiple values or enforce unique values. Save your column and return to the list.

Step 3: Add Data to Both Lists

Now that your lookup column is created, it’s time to populate both the primary list and the target list with data. Ensure that the columns you want to use for the lookup are filled with relevant information in each list. This data will be used to establish the connection between the two lists.

Step 4: Create an App from the Primary List

Once your lists are populated, you can create an app from the primary list to display the linked information. Go to the list settings and select “Create an app.” This will generate an app that you can customize and use to view and interact with the consolidated data. You can also choose to create lookup columns in views to further enhance the user experience.

By following these steps, you can successfully create and utilize lookup columns in SharePoint to connect and consolidate data across multiple lists. However, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations of lookup columns, such as the inability to create lookups across sites and the maximum of 12 lookup columns in a view. Consider alternative approaches, like utilizing the Term Store for better metadata management or leveraging Power Apps for more advanced lookup capabilities. By exploring these options and best practices, you can optimize the use of lookup columns in SharePoint and enhance your data management processes.

Step Action
Step 1 Create a new list
Step 2 Define the lookup column
Step 3 Add data to both lists
Step 4 Create an app from the primary list

Alternatives and Best Practices for Lookup Columns in SharePoint

While lookup columns offer a convenient way to link and consolidate data in SharePoint, there are alternative methods and best practices to consider for more efficient data management. One alternative approach is to utilize the Term Store for metadata management. The Term Store allows you to create a centralized repository of terms and keywords that can be applied to different lists and libraries, providing a consistent way to classify and organize data. By leveraging the power of metadata, you can easily search, filter, and sort information across multiple lists, improving data discoverability and user experience.

Another alternative is to leverage Power Apps, a platform that allows you to build custom applications and solutions within SharePoint. With Power Apps, you can create more advanced lookup capabilities, such as cascading dropdowns and filtered selections. This provides greater flexibility and control over data relationships, allowing you to create more dynamic and user-friendly forms and interfaces. Power Apps also integrates seamlessly with SharePoint, enabling you to extend the functionality of lookup columns and enhance the overall user experience.

When working with lookup columns in SharePoint, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure optimal performance and usability. One best practice is to limit the number of lookup columns in a view to avoid performance issues. SharePoint has a limit of 12 lookup columns per view, so it’s essential to carefully plan and prioritize the use of lookup columns in your lists. Additionally, consider using indexed columns for lookup columns to improve performance when querying large datasets. Indexing lookup columns can help speed up data retrieval and filtering, ensuring a smooth and efficient user experience.

In conclusion, while lookup columns provide a valuable way to link and consolidate data in SharePoint, there are alternative methods and best practices to consider for more efficient data management. Whether it’s leveraging the Term Store for metadata management or utilizing Power Apps for advanced lookup capabilities, exploring these alternatives can help enhance the functionality and usability of your SharePoint environment. By following best practices and incorporating these alternative approaches, you can optimize your data management processes and improve collaboration and productivity within your organization.

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