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Is there a way to stop SharePoint lookups in IE from becoming a text input when there are more than 20 items?

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That's just the way it's done I'm afraid. The same bevahior exists in 2007. There are some ways around it if you're building your own forms, but if you're trying to do some jQuery modifications on a stock form, you'll just have to remember that any look up, once it hits 20 values, changes from a select to input and adjust your code accordingly.

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I've got a new function in my SPServices jQuery library which will convert those "complex" dropdowns into "simple" dropdowns (selects). It's currently in an ALPHA release, but I expect to release it for production in v0.6.2 very soon. The function is called SPComplexToSimpleDropdown.

BTW, those complex dropdowns are exactly the same in SharePoint 2007 and 2010 and SPComplexToSimpleDropdown works the same in both versions.

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