Confused by Column Validation? You’re not alone!

 In Excel, Office 365, SharePoint, Technology

If you have no clue what column validation is, don’t worry–this is the article you’ve been looking for.
Let’s start by first defining the two words:

  • Column. A column happens to be synonymous with field. Fields are where data is stored in a table. In this case, columns are simply fields in the Microsoft SharePoint/Office 365 environment.
  • Validation. To ensure compliance.

In short, column validation is the process of ensuring that the data entered into fields complies with the requirements. Some common examples including numerical validation for dates, currency, and limiting choices to a selection list.

Another example: if I want to make sure that all of the data entered in a SharePoint column called “Annual Salary” follows the same standard, I would validate the column as numerical currency in whole numbers only. “Employee Start Date” would get checked to see if it’s a proper date. And “Email” would verify that the proper @ symbol and domain are entered.

 

The Number group from the Home tab in Excel displays common field validation.

If you are familiar with the field validation choices in Excel, then column validation will feel nearly identical.

When creating columns in SharePoint, be sure to choose the appropriate validation. This will ensure consistency across your information architecture and assist with data integrity.

Column validation screenshot from SharePoint.

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