Sharepoint 2007 Custom Lists – Losing the Title Field

Every now and then you need to use a custom list as the basis for development.  When created, however, you always get given a Title text field amongst other things:


But what if you don’t want that field? For example because the required data in your list does not include a text “Title”.  What can you do?

Grade 1 – Make it optional

First option is to downgrade the field itself so its optional.  By default its mandatory.

Also while editing the properties you can consider adding a description that makes clear how unimportant the field is to you.


However, while this will make you feel better, it does not really change the availability of this field for viewing or updating. 

Time for grade 2.

Grade 2 – Remove from View

To make this field disappear modify the view(s) being used to display items and remove the Title field from that view.

Untick the checkbox next to Title and visitors will not see the value ever again.


Looks good, but two problems with stopping at this stage:

(1) Cannot edit item in default view

In the default view, the Edit option for an item is linked to the Title field.  Hide this field and you hide the ability to edit an existing record.

This is easily resolved by displaying the Edit item in the view as a replacement. I usually set it to be the first column.


(2) Still see field when adding/updating an item

Trickier to resolve is the problem that the Title field will still display when adding or modifying items in your list:


If you’re the only one making updates then that might be acceptable (particularly if you added a poignant description like above).  But if editing is open to a wider group then preferable to get this field out completely.

On to grade 3.

Grade 3 – Hide field via Content Type

While we cannot delete the Title field, the next best thing is to hide it in the form.  To do so you need to enable and then modify the default content type for the list.

  1. On the list choose Settings > List Settings
  2. Select Advanced Settings
  3. In those settings, select to allow management of content types


    Bonus: while in there, also check some of the other fields to correctly configure your list.  For example I invariably disable the “enable attachments” option as rarely do I want to let uses add files.

  4. Save changes.
  5. Back in list settings, select the newly displayed Item content type.

    list content types

  6. Click on the Title column in the column list.


  7. Set to Hidden.


  8. Save your changes.
  9. Now when you launch the form to add/update the unwanted Title field is gone.


    Notice in this form I also took the option to disable attachments.  So compared to the previous form the Attachments option has disappeared also.


    Note we are still unable to delete this field.  But by editing the view and the content type you can hide it from all visitors.  Which will have to be close enough.

    Note there is a school of thought that says after making these changes you should disable the content type management.  Can see the logic of locking it up again but never been worried about other sneaky edits so I tend to leave it as is.

One thought on “Sharepoint 2007 Custom Lists – Losing the Title Field

  1. steven Post author

    Another option is to create your custom list using the import spreadsheet option. Then the list only contains fields for the columns you define.


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