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Oldest SharePoint trick in the book

Automation Master
Automation Master
8 4 1,805

This is probably not news to many on here, but for those un-initiated in some of SharePoint quirks, I present the famous "Calculated Column" trick.

Do you want a really easy way to render a piece of HTML in a dataview on your SharePoint list or library?


Then here you go.

Create a Calculated column that looks a little something like this


Be sure to select anything OTHER THAN "Single line of text"

Your formula should look a little something like this

="<a href=''>Click Here to Approve</a>"

You can in fact use this for an number of other functions including Concatenates and IF's, for more details check out this link​.

SharePoint will render this HTML as a clickable link for your users.

"What's the Nintex angle?" I hear you ask.

Well by creating a column called Approval URL or WorkflowMapURL and using the Nintex common properties to write to that column, you can then include that URL as your hyperlink, thus giving your users a link to the approval task straight from the item. Of course, only users who have had the task assigned to them can approve, but this is still a nice little trick. In fact you can use it for all sorts.

I created a Document library that contained 3 content types, Procedures, Forms and Deviations. The default view was set to Procedures, which would show all Procedures. Then as users began adding Forms and Deviations, they would be prompted for a piece of metadata called Proc Number, this was an identifier that linked a Procedure to a Form or a Deviation.

When an item was submitted, a workflow ran to identify whether a Procedure existed with that number, if it did it would build a URL of http://server/sites/sitename/libraryname/Forms.aspx?ProcNum=123456789

where the proc number is taken from item property. Write this to a column and then throw in an IF as well so that it only shows the hyperlink if a Form exists with the same Proc Number. It looks a little like this

,"<a href='SiteURL/Documents/Forms.aspx?ProcNum="

I did the same with the Deviations and there it was, a library with Procedure documents and links to Forms and Deviations if they existed.

The power of the Calculated column


Nintex Newbie

Nice trick, but some important information is omitted about formula recalculation only on item updated event. And the latter part of the article is a bit too compact for easy reading and understanding.

Nintex Newbie

I like using the calculated field for little things I can't do other ways - or doing it this way would make it way more easier.

Nintex Newbie


I am new in Nintex, could you please tell me how can I create the column Approval URL  using the Nintex common properties? Thank you.

Automation Master
Automation Master

it's listed directly among references.

note however, it's available only in specific screens,