Nick Grattan's Blog

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

Changing Order / Hiding Columns in New / Edit Forms

with 31 comments

The default order of columns in New/Edit forms for lists and document libraries is typically the order they are added. In many cases you may want to change this order, or to remove columns from these forms.

Changing the column order is easy but the method depends on whether you have selected “Allow management of content types” for the list. See below if you have this option selected, otherwise you can:

  1. Open the list and select Settings + List Settings
  2. Select the “Column ordering” link under “Columns”.
  3. Use the “Change Field Order” form to change the order of columns.


You can only hide columns if “Allow management of content types” is selected! So, to hide, for example, the “Title” column you can:

  1. Open the list and select Settings + List Settings
  2. Select Advanced settings
  3. Click Yes for “Allow management of content types” and then click OK.
  4. From the list of content types, select the content type the column appears in, e.g. “Item”.
  5. From the list of columns for the selected content type, select the column (e.g. Title).
  6. Select Hidden and click OK.


Even if you have a single content type, selecting the “Allow management of content types” option does no harm, so this should work in all cases.

Note that when displaying the content type there is a “Column Order” link under the list of columns which can be used to change the order of columns.

In this example, “Title” is a required field, but you can still hide it. The form will allow the item to be created or updated even though a value has not been supplied.

Written by Nick Grattan

December 2, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Posted in SharePoint Power User

Tagged with ,

31 Responses

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  1. Hi,

    I am using WSS3.0. I want to be able to only allow read access to a field in a list for some users, but allow full read/write access for others. Apologies if this sounds straightforward, but I’m still learning WSS.




    December 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    • Hide columns in SharePoint, it is simple.

      Try this too,
      How to hide columns in SharePoint


      October 12, 2009 at 10:19 am

      • Yes, this can be done with SharePoint Designer, and thanks for the post. There is, of course, a decision point to be considered when using SPD to modify pages, but if this is part of your development methodology, go for it! Nick

        Nick Grattan

        October 13, 2009 at 6:11 am

  2. Darren,

    SharePoint does not supply this functionality out of the box. Do a search in goole for ‘”column level security” sharepoint’ and you’ll find articles that describe the issues and some solutions.



    Nick Grattan

    December 11, 2008 at 8:27 am

  3. Nick, as far as I can tell this “re-ordering” of fields for the new & edit forms doesn’t seem to work for Document Libraries 😦

    Andy May

    December 12, 2008 at 1:50 pm

  4. Andy,
    The column ordering options seem to work when used against a document library (e.g. for edit properties within the browser etc). I notice, though, that the order of columns is not honoured when displayed in the SIP in Word 2007. Is this what you mean?

    Nick Grattan

    December 16, 2008 at 9:29 am

  5. Hi,

    Thanks, this is what i want.


    December 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

  6. i want to order the columns programmatically writing some code…. can anybody help me with any such mothod that reorder the columns of a list at runtime…


    March 18, 2009 at 10:22 am

  7. I just migrated a Sharepoint 2003 site to 2007 (MOSS). When we display/edit a list item, it is not displaying in the column ordering we have defined for the list. Any Ideas? Column ordering on views is working. I am using List Settings – Column Ordering but fields do not appear in the order I have set.

    Nancy Forbes

    September 1, 2009 at 2:31 pm

  8. […] Don't know why this worked. We went to this option in order to change some columns to hidden. (See if interested in hiding columns)Open the list and select Settings + List […]

  9. Once we did the first 3 steps on this page, the column ordering started working. Thanks!

    Nancy Forbes

    September 1, 2009 at 9:40 pm

  10. I’m sorry, not the very first 3 steps. These steps:
    Open the list and select Settings + List Settings
    Select Advanced settings
    Click Yes for “Allow management of content types” and then click OK.

    Nancy Forbes

    September 1, 2009 at 9:42 pm

  11. I’m a new user to SharePoint and I believe that I’m using a SharePoint 2003 site. Not migrating to 2007 anytime soon but would like to address whether or not I can change the field order in a list in 2003 and how.

    Nancy L

    October 6, 2009 at 8:10 pm

  12. […] in the former post after the last field it references. You can change the field order using the Change Field Order page (List Settings / Column ordering), or you can do it using code. If you don’t do that this way, […]

  13. It can be done by 3rd party component.
    You can take a look on Infowise Smart List Pro which can run on both on SharePoint 2010 & Sharepoint Foundation 2010 (works great on MOSS & WSS 3.0 version also).
    Smart List Pro extend the SharePoint lists & document libraries, and gives them abilities like – field/column permissions based on rules (great to show/hide fields/columns by rules and permissions) , default values, view permissions, tabbed interface and much more.

    For more info –


    June 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

  14. how about reordering the attachments column in a filled view? is it possible?


    September 29, 2011 at 1:43 am

  15. thank you for posting! This has been driving me nuts trying to figure out.


    October 3, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  16. I have a requirement such that Name of cloumn should be changed for displaying but actual column name will be different in a list and document library.
    eg In a list one column name is LName i want to display as Last Name.I should not change the name LName.
    Is it possible to do?

    Sanjeev Gautam

    sanjeev gautam

    October 20, 2011 at 7:42 am

  17. Thank you very much for this post.
    I knew it was possible to change the order of collumns just for the form, because before I had turned on the ‘manage content type’ option there was a link under the collumn names on the setting page where I could do this.
    So whenever you turn on the ‘manage content type’ under the advanced settings you have to click on the content type on the list settings page first.
    (we use SharePoint 2010)


    March 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

  18. Hi Nick,

    This is so helpful. Because of that I tagged your Blog as one of my Favorites! 🙂

    the uneducatedmarketer

    April 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm

  19. How do you do this in 2012?

  20. Thanks a lot. This was really helpful.

    Mohd Kaif

    September 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

  21. I’m using SP2010, and have a related issue I’m struggling with.

    All the columns set to “Optional” in my content type appear correctly on my Display form, as expected by the settings described above. But when I check the New or Edit forms, some of the columns do not appear.

    On the upside, those not appearing are columns I don’t want users editing anyway; except for one column that I do need them to have access to. Conversely, of those that are appearing, there are some that I need to hide.

    What is more, I am having inconsistent results when comparing what should be identical lists/forms in between my sandbox and live environments. Specifically, one of the fields that does not show up in the sandbox version does appear in the live version. And, both sites were built using the same template, so we can rule out code-level modifications being the culprit. I know there must be a setting somewhere in the UI or SD that we set on the sandbox site and missed on the live site, but no idea what it might be.

    Any suggestions what I’m missing here?


    November 26, 2012 at 1:18 am

  22. I followed the directions on this and I successfully hid the field on the form. The purpose of this was to hide it from them so I could be the only way to edit it. When I go into the list to edit the information, it remains hidden haha. How do I as the admin edit this field?


    April 1, 2013 at 8:36 pm

  23. Thank you very very very much !!!!!!!!!!!!!


    July 1, 2013 at 10:02 am

  24. You can use SPServices and jQuery to Hide SharePoint List Columns based on User Permissions:


    July 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

  25. […] in the former post after the last field it references. You can change the field order using the Change Field Order page(List Settings / Column ordering), or you can do it using code. If you don’t do that this way, […]

  26. Please help. I can set the column order for some of the columns in my custom Content Type (document set) but some of the columns will not display in the order that I specify when creating a new item. Is there a trick to this?


    November 21, 2014 at 4:00 am

  27. Thank you so much!!! The above article helped me hide a column 🙂 I had almost given up. Thanks again! 🙂

    Daniela Boteva

    October 29, 2015 at 9:51 am

  28. I have re-ordered the columns, but when I go to display they are still appearing in the prior order. How do I update so that they display in the order that I changed them to?

    Amy Verbosky

    August 13, 2018 at 1:21 pm

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