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INFO: Creating and Editing Columns on Windows PC
Views: 4464 Created: 08-10-2010 23:15 Last Updated: 08-31-2011 10:38

Once you have created a list in a custom lists file, you're not stuck with the list of columns you start out with. (In lists created in a Portal you cannot customize the columns.)You can change the properties of the existing columns or create completely new ones. Columns are created or modified using the Columns Tab of the List Properties window. (To open the List Properties window for an existing list, select the list and either choose Properties from the Edit menu or just double-click the list name).

You can also hide, show or modify columns by right-clicking on the column header to display the context menu and then choosing Hide Column, Show Column or Column Properties.

You can create a new column by pushing the Add button. You'll see a popup menu from which you can choose the type of column you want to create. When you click one of the choices, a column of that type will be created with default properties and a default name (which you can edit).

You can edit an existing column's properties by selecting the column and pushing the Modify button, or just by double-clicking the column name. The window you see will depend on the type of column.

All columns have a name property, so the Column Properties window will always include a Name field. String and Linked columns have no other properties, so for these column types there will be no other information to edit. In addition, the predefined Checkbox, Flag and Priority columns do not allow editing any properties other than Name. Property information for other column types is described below.

Category Columns

  • The Column Properties dialog for Categories allows you to change the font for the column by pressing the Change button.

  • Check Automatically add new category values if you want all new category values entered into any item in the list to be added to the list of category values for that column. If you want to build and maintain the list of Category Values manually, you can uncheck this option to prevent new values from being added. To edit Category Values, use the Category Values window by picking Category Values from the Tools menu.

Number Columns

  • The Column Properties dialog for Numbers allows you to define a calculation and to change the font for the column by pressing the appropriate change button.

  • Choose the type of calculation for this column from the list. By default the calculation is None, which allows you to enter numeric data into this column. Any other choice will cause this column to display the result of the calculation and entering data into the column will not be allowed. The other choices allow addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.

  • If you chose a calculation for this column, choose the columns that are represented by A and B in the calculation. Both A and B provide a list of eligible Number and Date columns that you may choose from. You may choose Date columns only if the calculation is subtraction, and the Date columns must have the same Form. The columns chosen for A and B must either be both Numbers or both Dates. Columns that are already the result of a calculation may not be chosen.

  • You can use a constant in a calculated column simply by selecting <Constant> for A or B. For example, to add the constant 5 to a number column called Amt, set A tot, set B to <Constant> and type 5 into the Constant field.

Date Columns


  • The Column Properties dialog for Dates allows you to define a calculation and to change the font for the column by pressing the appropriate change button.

  • Choose a Form for the column from the list. If you choose Date Only, only a date will be displayed without a time. If you choose Date and Time, a date and time will be displayed. If you choose Time Only, only a time of day will be displayed without a date. All forms may be used with date calculations, but only Date Only and Date and Time forms may be used for alarms.

  • Choose a Behavior for the column from the list. The default behavior is Manual, which will allow you to enter information into the field. The Auto Date/Time behavior automatically updates the column with the current Date/Time whenever the item is changed. The behavior Calculate A + B will calculate the value of the column by adding a number column to a date column. The behavior Calculate A - B will calculate the value of the column by subtracting a number column from a date column. For example, you could use Calculate A + B to add a task starting date (in a Date column) and the number of days assigned to the task (in a Number column) to get the due date.

  • You can use a constant in a calculated date column simply by selecting <Constant> for A or B. For example, to add 5 days to a column called Date, set A to Date, set B to <Constant> and type 5 into the Constant field.

  • If you chose a calculation for this column, choose the columns that are represented by A and B in the calculation. The choices for A are the eligible Date columns and the choices for B are the eligible Number columns. Only Date columns with the same Form as this column may be chosen for A. Columns that are already the result of a calculation may not be chosen.

When choosing a calculation for the column, the way the Number column is interpreted depends on the Form of the Date column. If the Date column is Date Only or Date and Time, the Number column that is added or subtracted is interpreted as a number of days. If the Date column is Time Only, the Number column is interpreted as a number of minutes. Fractional days and minutes may be used. For example, 0.01 days is about 15 minutes.

Please note that you won't be able to edit the data in columns that are Autodate or calculated columns, since the data for the column is determined by the change date or the calculation.

Yes/No Columns

  • Select an icon style from the Icon style list to determine what icon will be displayed for this column.

  • Check Invisible when off if you don't want any icon to be displayed at all when the value of this column for an item is Off (unchecked). The normal icon will be displayed when the value is On (checked).

Three State Columns

  • Select an icon style from the Icon style list to determine what icon will be displayed for this column.