Nick Grattan's Blog

About Microsoft SharePoint, .NET, Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning

SharePoint 2007 Custom Fields and “Edit property on server”

with 5 comments

When developing custom fields in SharePoint 2007 you may encounter this warning when adding the field to a document library but not to a list:

“The field type cannot be edited from most client programs and might block the programs from saving documents to this library.”


The warning is given because an ASPX control is used for editing the column/property values in SharePoint but this ASPX control cannot be used for editing column values in client applications such as Microsoft Word. When a document is created in Microsoft Word the column is shown with the “Edit property on server” error:


To allow the column to be edited in client applications you need to specify a parent type for the field. This parent type is one of the standard field types that a client application can edit. You then specify that the parent type edit mechanism (such as a standard edit box or combo box) can be used by setting the AllowBaseTypeRendering property for the field.

To do this edit the fldtypes_*xml file for the custom field; add the AllowBaseTypeRendering Field element with the value “TRUE” and set the ParentType field element to a standard field type, such as “Number”:

<Field Name=TypeName>RatingField</Field>

<Field Name=ParentType>Number</Field>

<Field Name=SQLType>float</Field>

<Field Name=TypeDisplayName>Rating Field</Field>

<Field Name=TypeShortDescription>Rating Field</Field>

<Field Name=Sortable>TRUE</Field>

<Field Name=AllowBaseTypeRendering>TRUE</Field>

<Field Name=Filterable>TRUE</Field>

The field will now be editable in client applications like Microsoft Word.

Written by Nick Grattan

January 6, 2008 at 2:18 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hi – I’m trying to make my custom lookup column work in Office Word 2007 and have defined the “AllowBaseTypeRendering” type as you described above – but no success – still the “Edit property on server”. I updated my fldtypes_*xml and did a iisreset before trying with a new column definition. Do you have any tips regarding parenttype for lookup columns or other things regadring the use of lookup columns in this setting?

    Regards, Tom Gullberg
    SrC SharePoint Tech
    ErgoGroup, Norway

    Tom Gullberg

    June 17, 2008 at 11:34 am

  2. This works for me with a Text field but not with a multiColumn Type. I want to get this to work in Word with a Dropdown Menu. Is this not possible? This line breaks it:

    This line works but then the dropdown isnt showing up correctly


    July 2, 2008 at 10:36 pm

  3. Hi, same here. I’ve added the element you mentioned, but no luck.

    And some other questions: what if I have some custom validation logic in my field type. Will this be called from the word 2007 client?

    And what about office 2003. How do custom field types work with it?


    Adrian Hara

    July 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm

  4. That worked great. Thank you very much.

    I found that it worked on new fields, not existing fields.

    Aaron Wiggans

    Aaron Wiggans

    January 26, 2009 at 8:00 pm

  5. Anyone know how to make it work on existing fields?


    November 8, 2010 at 2:43 pm

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