Add blank value to choice field in SharePoint

Add blank value to choice field in SharePoint
9 votes, 4.67 avg. rating (93% score)

Introduction

While creating item in a list with choice column, we can see empty value to set. But once the value is given in the choice column and later when we try to set empty value again we cannot set. Check this article with complete steps and screenshots if you are looking for how to add empty option in SharePoint choice column or how to add blank value to choice field.

Skill Level – Medium

Details

I am taking an example of custom list which has choice column "mychoice" with value ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’.
While creating new item we can see the blank value

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After creating the item with some value in the choice column "mychoice", we cannot set blank space any more.

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Steps to set blank value choice field

STEP 1

Go to : Start>Run>Charmap

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Character map window will be opened

STEP 2
Select the Font ‘DokChampa’ and select the ascii symbol as below. It will be copied into the textbox. Click Copy button to copy the character.

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STEP 3
Paste the above copied value under column choices as first choice. Do not worry as it seems there is no character copied
Set Required value to “Yes”

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Its done. Now, try to edit the item. Voilà! we can see the blank space comes up

 

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NOTE: Do not forget to set the setting Requires this column contains information to ‘Yes’. Otherwise, while creating new item you will see two empty values.
If you observe, after changing the column to mandatory; functionally it resembles as though the column is mandatory but it is not prompting to provide value if empty value is selected. Technically there is value but it is empty space. Users will certainly think the mandatory column is allowing to save empty value. For that reason you need to set one formula in the column validation

=IF(LEN(mychoice)>1,TRUE,FALSE)

Set User message like "mychoice is mandatory"

With this the whole choice field is ready.

Conclusion

In reality I certainly feel this is bug with SharePoint. We are not having the option to set back to empty. This really gave hard time to many functionally.
The above changes are nothing but setting some space value to resemble empty value. Any other ways will not work and this is certainly



October 16, 2014 · Adi · 4 Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Lists, Sharepoint 2010, SharePoint 2013

4 Responses

  1. Jenny - June 8, 2015

    Very helpful.

    I don’t get why Sharepoint treats Choice fields as required – sometimes we need to option to just leave it completely blank or switch it back to being blank.

  2. SRK - April 28, 2016

    Ultimate solution:)

  3. Adi - May 4, 2016

    Thanks :)

  4. Navin - August 5, 2016

    =IF(LEN(mychoice)>1,TRUE,FALSE)
    When I try to use the above formula in column validation I am getting a message like “The formula contains a syntax error or is not supported”
    I tried using =IF(LEN[mychoice]>1,TRUE,FALSE) but not working,
    We have SP 2013 Foundation
    Can anyone please help

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