Hiding the Title Column in a SharePoint List

There are a number of posts about this in blogs out there about this trick and I’m not sure who posted first, so I’ll attribute it to the Ferrara Data Consulting | Company Blog.  It’s certainly a useful trick, and worth repeating.

By default, all SharePoint lists have a column called Title (@Title for you SharePoint Designer junkies out there).  But what if you don’t want to use it?  Well, you can pull a veil over it, though you can’t actually delete it.  You can also rename it and use it differently, but keep in mind that the underlying column will always be called @Title, which can get confusing if you’re doing anything in SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio.

Here’s how you “disappear” it as thoroughly as possible:

  • First, go to the list’s settings page (/[listname]/_layouts/settings.aspx), and under General Settings, click on ‘Advanced settings’.
  • image

  • Turn on ‘Allow management of content types?’ by clicking the Yes radio button.  What this lets you do is allow specific Content Types to be used with this particular list.  (Content Types are one of *the* most important content management capabilities of SharePoint, so if you don’t understand what they are all about, you should learn more! Note the descriptive text in the left panel in the image below.)
  • image

  • You’ll now see the Content Types section on the List Settings page, as below.  Depending on what type of list template you’ve started with, you’ll see whatever base Content Type it uses, e.g., Item, Document, Task, etc. (You may not have realized that each of these Item types were actually Content Types!)
  • image

  • By clicking on the Content Type name, you will see the columns which are a part of the Content Type, with Title being a ‘Single line of text’ and Required, with its source being the Content Type it derives from (Item, Document, Task, etc.).
  • image

  • Click on the Title column, and you will see the Column Settings section, which is where you can indicate whether you want a column to be Required, Optional, or Hidden.  To completely “disappear” the Title column, you’ll want to choose Hidden.
  • image

  • You can now go back into Advanced Settings and turn off the ‘Allow management of content types?’ option should you choose.  There’s certainly no danger leaving it the way it is, and it may be a good idea to leave it on so that you know where you’ve used this trick by noting the presence of the Content Types section.
  • If you’ve turned off the ‘Allow management of content types?’ option, you’ll also need to go back into the settings for the Title column and change the column to not be required.

image

  • Finally, you’ll want to remove the Title column from any existing views, or you will see the (no title) entry, as below.  Keep in mind, though, that the Title column is the column which has the content menu which allows you to take various actions on the item, so you will probably want to keep it visible at least in an administrative view or two so that you can get at the individual items.

image

12 Comments

  1. Thanks for the trackback, Marc. I certainly appreciate it. Nice descriptive article. This is one of the most requested changes that I come across, as there are so many libraries that have no need for a title column.

    Reply
  2. Make sure you don’t enter any data before you modify the list as indicated above – otherwise you get the Title field in the DispForm page.

    Reply
  3. I have tested hiding Title column on a specific list following your instruction. All went ok. However, when I created an other list to test, the Title column disappears and the Title column doesn’t appear on any calendars and lists in the entire sharepoint site (I am using wss 3.0). I thought that I only hid the Title column on one list and others wouldn’t be impacted.

    I turned off the ” Allow management of content types?” to unhide the Title column. In order for the Title column to appear on the list or calendar, I have to do the following: go to the list -> settings -> list settings -> click on Title then OK. Doing it, the Title will appear on the calendar and lists. Unfortunately we have to do it for every site and subsite if needed. Could you please let me know why and how this can be fixed?

    Thank you,

    Reply
    • Ever figure this issue out? I’m having the same problem of hiding the Title field in one form but then finding the Title field missing from all the other lists/calendars in this SharePoint site as well.

      Reply

Have a thought or opinion?