Working with the People Picker: A Shortcut

The People Picker is the control you see on the page when a column or field needs to contain a user. (Not just the text representing a user’s name, which you should really almost never do, but the actual user object as understood by SharePoint.)

It looks something like this. (This is an example from the Add Users page for Site Permissions.)
image

Most people are used to working with the People Picker in one of two ways:
1) Typing all or part of a user name in the box and clicking on the Check Names icon People Picker - Check Icon .

 image

At this point, when they see the ‘No exact match was found.’ message, most people move on to option 2.

2) Clicking on the Browse icon People Picker - Lookup Icon and looking people up in the Select People and Groups dialog box.

image

There’s a third way which can be quicker. You can just type a part of the user’s name in the box and hit enter or the Check Names icon, as in option 1) above. When you get the ‘No exact match was found.’ message, click on the name which has been underlined with the squiggly red line.

image

While there was no exact match found, there were matches, you’ll see them, and you can select the one you want.

Keep in mind that the more specific you can be in what you type the better the results will be, much like you are used to in your email client, whether it is Outlook, Gmail, Lotus Notes, or whatever.

10 Comments

  1. Option 3 combined wit option 1 is my preferred method, and I’ve seen ‘sharepoint-noobs’ use it straight away! The red squiggly lines reminds them of misspelled words in Word and those you can correct by clicking on them, the same holds here :)

    Reply
    • Come now. You don’t really need that. You’re just testing me! The tricky part with that is that the Developer Tools in IE8 won’t let you inspect the created object which holds the values and the functionality doesn’t work in Firefox so Firebug is out. Hmm.
      M.

      Reply
        • I’ve never tried to sort that out with jQuery, and it probably isn’t even a good idea. The user could have simply typed the letter “a”, in which case, you could have anything in that list.

          M.

          Reply
  2. Hi Marc, I have the problem with peoplepicker and this bothering me for 2 weeks. No luck to add domain users, eventhough with stsadm. Users profiles are working well and sync. I am scratching until hairs fall, any other ways to try?

    Reply
      • 1. My company has only 1 domain which is PDC1 (cw.com), MOSS 2010 is installed in APP1 and joined to domain.
        2. Peoplepicker shown Not Match in the Team Site(http://mossserver) -> Site Permission.
        3. I have tried stsadm

        stsadm.exe -o setproperty -url “” -pn “peoplepicker-searchadforests” -pv “domain:cw.com, cw\administrator,password

        syntax correct?

        Reply

Have a thought or opinion?