Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
To accomplish this, you need to delete the original Full Name field and add a new Full Name
calculated field. On the Customers content page, click the Settings button in the Action bar, and
select List Setting.
You might wonder, “Why not keep the original Full Name field and just add the suggested
calculation as the default value? That way, we could get the combined (concatenated) values of the first
and last name fields in this field, but we could also edit it as we want.”
Well, that is a good point. A calculated field isn’t really editable; it runs under the covers. But here’s
the thing about text fields, or any field that can also have a little calculation as its default value: fields
like that (and this also goes for column validation) cannot refer to any field outside of themselves
for their calculation.
So if you want a field that contains values based on other field values, you need to use a calculated
field. That’s why if you want a full name field that automatically pulls the first and last name values
and concatenates them, you need to delete the original single-line-of-text field and replace it with
a calculated field instead.
However, something to keep in mind concerning calculated default values is that, like a v iew filter,
they support what is considered volatile variables like [Today] and [Me]. True calculated type
fields cannot naturally support variables like [Today].
So if you need to do a calculation that refers to other fields in the list, the calculated field type is
your friend. If you need to have a default calculated value but want to give users the option to
override that value and enter something else or if you need to use a volatile variable in your calculation,
consider the default calculated value.
Take the following steps to delete a field:
1. On the List Settings page for the list (on the Lists ribbon, click List Settings to get to the
page), select the field you want to delete (Full Name in our case) from the list of fields in
the Columns section.
2. When the page opens to edit that field, go to the bottom of the page. In addition to the OK
and Cancel button is the Delete button. Just click Delete; it’s that simple.
3. A dialog box will warn you that the column and all of its data will be deleted. You don’t
have any data to lose yet, so click OK. But note that this is a good reminder that you
should customize a list before you enter data.
Once the Full Name field is deleted, it’s time to create a new and improved Full Name field.
I’ll use this field to demonstrate calculation. Because calculated fields aren’t available for editing,
it won’t show up on the New Item form box when users are doing data entry.
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