Simplified SharePoint JSON User Assignment Guide
SharePoint Online
May 13, 2024 2:00 PM

Simplified SharePoint JSON User Assignment Guide

by HubSite 365 about Steve Corey

Lead Consultant at Quisitive

Pro UserSharePoint OnlineLearning Selection

Unlock Easy SharePoint List Customization with JSON: Enhance User Assignment Display Today!

Key insights

  • SharePoint column formatting allows users to customize how fields in lists and libraries are displayed using a JSON object. It changes the display without altering the data itself.
  • Column formatting can be applied by anyone who can create and manage views in a list, offering simpler customization than SharePoint Framework Field Customizer extensions which require custom code.
  • A rich set of examples and samples for column formatting is available in the sp-dev-column-formatting repository on the SharePoint GitHub organization.
  • Conditional formatting, clickable actions, and data visualizations can be easily implemented in SharePoint lists with column formatting, enhancing the user experience by applying styles, icons, and hyperlinks based on field values.
  • Column formatting supports a wide range of column types including Choice, Date/Time, Lookup, Person or Group, and more. However, it does not support Filename (in Document Libraries), Retention Label, or Sealed columns.

Enhancing SharePoint Lists with Custom Column Formatting

SharePoint's column formatting feature significantly enhances the visual appeal and functionality of list views. It offers a flexible yet straightforward way to modify how list and library fields are displayed without changing the underlying data. Users who have permissions to create and manage list views can easily apply these customizations. By leveraging JSON objects, SharePoint allows for tailored displays of data through conditional formatting, custom hyperlinks, iconography, and even data visualization elements like progress bars and trend indicators. Unlike the more complex SharePoint Framework Field Customizer, column formatting is accessible to a broader audience, making it a valuable tool for creating more engaging and visually appealing SharePoint environments. It supports a wide array of column types, ensuring that most list data can be presented in an enhanced format. This feature not only improves the user experience but also augments data comprehensibility within SharePoint lists and libraries.

Introducing Easy SharePoint Online Customization with JSON

User interface customizations in SharePoint Online can significantly enhance data visibility and interaction for users. By leveraging column formatting with JSON objects, site owners and editors can create intuitive displays without altering underlying data. This blog post, authored by Steve Corey, guides users through the process of applying custom JSON scripts to modify the appearance of fields within SharePoint lists and libraries.

Understanding Column Formatting vs Field Customizer

SharePoint Online provides two main methods for customizing how list fields are presented: column formatting and the SharePoint Framework Field Customizer. While both aim to enhance field display, column formatting offers a quick, code-free solution to alter visual elements and styles. In contrast, the Field Customizer requires custom code, catering to more complex scenarios beyond the scope of predefined JSON templates. Choosing between these depends on the customization needs and complexity of the desired outcome.

Getting Started with Column Formatting

To implement column formatting in SharePoint Online, navigate to the desired column's settings and select "Format this column." With no prior formatting, users are prompted to input JSON code into the configuration pane. For beginners, borrowing and editing samples from SharePoint's GitHub repository can kickstart the customization process. Examples range from simple text displays to intricate conditional formatting, enabling a variety of visual transformations with minimal effort.

Advanced Formatting Techniques

Column formatting extends to conditional styles, action links, and data visualizations, allowing fields to dynamically reflect data states or facilitate user actions. The use of expressions and SharePoint's Fluent UI classes can visually signify data conditions, such as urgency or status, with color codes and icons. Additionally, JSON scripting can transform field values into hyperlinks or action buttons, integrating seamless navigations or operations directly within list views.

For fields with numerical values or dates, SharePoint Online column formatting supports data bars and icon indicators to convey trends, priorities, or deadlines. Such visual aids are not only aesthetically pleasing but also enhance data readability, facilitating quicker user assessments and decisions. Users can further customize displays by leveraging SharePoint's support for various field types, including text, choice, person, and more, each with unique formatting potentials.

Despite its versatility, some limitations exist. For instance, column formatting cannot interpret custom code or apply to certain field types like Filename or Retention Label. Nonetheless, for most customization needs, column formatting offers a powerful yet accessible tool to enrich SharePoint Online user experiences.


Steve Corey's guide provides a comprehensive overview of utilizing SharePoint Online's column formatting to improve list and library interfaces significantly. By applying JSON scripting, users can create custom visualizations, including conditional styles and actionable elements, without the need for complex coding. This approach not only makes data more accessible but also encourages user interaction, making SharePoint Online a more dynamic platform for collaboration and data management.

Enhancing SharePoint Online with JSON Column Formatting

SharePoint Online offers tremendous flexibility in customizing list and library views to better meet the needs of users and organizations. Through simple JSON scripts, non-developers can now tailor the display of their SharePoint content, making it more intuitive and actionable. This democratization of customization empowers users to craft rich, interactive data presentations without delving into complex coding. Whether it's highlighting critical tasks, creating easy navigation links, or visualizing data trends, column formatting opens up a world of possibilities. As SharePoint Online continues to evolve, these capabilities will likely expand, further enhancing the platform's usability and effectiveness in collaborative environments.

SharePoint Online - Simplified SharePoint JSON User Assignment Guide

People also ask

"What is list formatting in SP?"

From a Microsoft expert's perspective, SharePoint list formatting is a powerful feature that enhances how lists are displayed within the SharePoint platform. It allows for dynamic customization of list views, including the ability to show or hide columns contingent on the data contained in other fields. This functionality significantly improves the interface by enabling users to focus on pertinent information through a more streamlined form design.

"How to add JSON code in SharePoint list?"

Addition of JSON code to a SharePoint list is straightforward. Firstly, create a new column with the desired name as a single-line text type. In the column formatting section, JSON code can be directly inserted, facilitating custom visual enhancements or behavior of the list items based on the specified JSON logic.

"What do you mean by column formatting?"

Column formatting, in the realm of data management, involves methodically structuring and designing the presentation of columns in a dataset to optimize legibility and aesthetic appeal. This includes managing column dimensions, alignment, and applying specific formatting styles. The main goal is to make the data accessible and comprehensible at a glance, thus enhancing the user's ability to digest and act on the information presented.

"What are lists in SharePoint?"

In the Microsoft ecosystem, SharePoint lists stand out as a critical and versatile tool, particularly for business users seeking organizational flexibility in data management. These lists enable the creation, storage, and manipulation of structured data, making it accessible to users ranging from tech experts to those with minimal technical background. The inherent capability to tailor these lists to specific business needs underscores their value and widespread utility across various scenarios.


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