Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
This is another example of how SharePoint limits the potential of a feature by naming it. The
Hyperlink Or Picture field is meant to interpret a path to a file and open it, or it is supposed to
simply display a path as a link. This means that this field can be used to open a file share or file.
The Hyperlink Or Picture field can be used to access a file share somewhere on the network that
might contain someone’s collection of work or maybe open their resume, open a file store of
previous works, or open an archived report from an old assessment.
Of course, most lists can allow for attached files for an item, but this field can be useful if you don’t
want that item stored in the content database. It still ends up associated and accessible within the
item record.
Calculated (Calculation Based On Other Columns) This really powerful field enables
you to use complex formulas to perform calculations. As a matter of fact, it is formatted to
only do calculations, so you can’t actually type in a calculation field when doing data entry.
SharePoint just does the math in the background and uses the field to display the results.
You can use field names (from this list only, unfortunately), known variables like [Today] or
[Me], common math, and even complex formulas and functions ranging from text and logical
functions to trigonometry.
The Calculated field has a Formula box with a convenient Insert Column box next to it listing
all the list fields created so far. This means if you want to calculate using another field in the
list, you need to create that other field before you create the calculated field. Enter the
formula you want to be calculated in the Formula box, and double-click the field name you want
to add to the formula (which puts itself in the formula for you). You can also specify the data
type that the formula is going to return, such as currency, number, or single line of text. Yes/
No is also an option.
Field templates, sometimes known as field definitions, can be shared between lists on a site. You
can set up a field that you want to include in other lists as a site column and make it available to be
reused elsewhere on the site. I find it particularly useful for calculated fields.
However, if you are going to use a calculated field as a site column and it refers to other fields in its
calculations, make certain that those fields exist in the new list. Otherwise, logically, the
calculation will fail.
It makes sense, and this way you at least can share the calculation field’s template with other lists,
as opposed to making it from scratch every time you needed it. Using and creating site columns
are covered later in Chapter 7, “Creating Lists.”
External Data For this field to be available, the Business Data Connectivity service must
be enabled on the server, and a configured external data source (such as a non-SharePoint
database) must be available. Then this field works like a lookup field, pointing to a field in the
external source.
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