# How to hide a field in SharePoint lists and libraries with the conditional formula

Working with SharePoint reminds me of watching James Bond movies – you think you have seen them all and know all the cool spy gadgets, yet, a new movie comes out, and there is a set of the new tricks in the book. The same with SharePoint – it is like a goldmine of cool stuff. Recently, I learned a cool trick, thanks to another SharePoint consultant, **Ami Diamond,** who happens to reside in Israel – my favorite country. The trick is about a way to hide a field in SharePoint lists and libraries with the conditional formula.

B the way, I already published a few posts where I described how we can benefit from using formulas in SharePoint. For example, check out **this article** for the calculated column and **this one** to learn how to do validations.

## Use Case

- I have a document library of company policies with several metadata columns
- One of the columns is called Status (with
**Active/Inactive**drop-down choices). Another column is an Expiration Date (**date field**). - When the users fill in metadata for the policies, I do not want the
**Expiration Date**field to appear in the form if the User chooses**Inactive**for the**Status**

## The formula for the condition

Translating the above text into the proper syntax of a formula, I end up with the following formula for the **Expiration Date column:**

**=if([$Status] == ‘Active’, ‘true’, ‘false’)**

Before you ask me, *“How the hell did you end up with such a formula”?* – please reference the **Notes** section at the end of a post for the proper syntax when you need to hide a field in SharePoint lists and libraries with the conditional formula.

## How to access the conditional formula for the column

Instructions on how to access the conditional formula for a given column differ between the **lists and libraries**.

### Document Library

For the document library (our use case), there are a few clicks for you to get the right place.

**Check the box**next to any document, click on the**“i” in a circle**, then click**Edit all**- On the pop-up that appears, under
**Edit form**, choose**Edit columns** - On the next screen, hover over the column that you want to hide based on a formula,
**click on 3 dots**next to it, then**Edit conditional formula**(**NOTE:**You need to hover over the field for 3 dots to appear) - You will then get to see the place where you can type in the formula

### Custom List

The process of getting to the formula field for SharePoint lists is much easier. Just click on any item/row, then **Edit form > Edit Columns**, followed by Steps 3 and 4 above.

## Paste the conditional formula

- Type in/paste the formula into the formula field. Click
**Save**. - Once the formula for the field has been set, you will notice that it becomes grayed out

## Experience for the End User

- When the user tries to tag the document, the Expiration Date (the field where I pasted the conditional formula in)
**does not appear on the form until the user makes a choice** - If the user selects
**Inactive**for Status, the formula produces a**‘false’**result, still hiding the Expiration Date field - However, if the user selects
**Active**for Status, the Expiration Date field will appear as the result of the formula will be**‘true’**

## Notes

- The field you are doing validation against needs to have a
**‘$’**sign in front of the column name (i.e. [**$**Status]) - The field you are doing validation against needs to be enclosed in square brackets
**[ ]**(i.e.**[**$Status**]**) - If you need to reference a column in the formula that contains a space,
**you will need to remove the space**when typing the column name in a formula (i.e.,**[$PolicyStatus]**instead of [$Policy Status]) - The formula must produce either a
**true or false**result for it to work - When you type in the formula, keep in mind that
**true and false are case-sensitive**. You need to type in**true**and**false**,**not True and False** - You must have a double-equal sign for the formula to work (
**==**) (for formulas that require that condition) - This conditional formula functionality is not supported on the
**Site Columns**. The columns being referenced in the formula have to be created locally at a list or library level. - The above-listed technique (conditional formula) does not work with the
**Quick Edit**function. The field will not be hidden in those cases. - That said, the technique does work for
**bulk edit**of metadata (when multiple files are selected at once) - You can reference other columns in the same list or library as part of a conditional formula. Example:
**=if([$RenewalDate] < [$ExpirationDate], ‘true’, ‘false’)** - The above trick only hides the field from the entry/edit form. If you want to hide the field from the view, you would need to edit the view of a list or library.
- Reference this
**formal article from Microsoft**for additional examples and syntax

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