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What's the best way to add a description to the fields?

e.g. I have a field called Location and I want to put description below it about how to enter data for it. I know I can customize these forms in SharePoint Designer and achieve this, but is there any other good way to do this?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You can simply fill in the Description field on the column's definition in List Settings. The Description is automatically displayed if it exists.


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I don't want to fill description field...I guess I am confusing when i say description i mean just some note below any field I am showing in list describing how to fill the data.... – Anonymous Mar 17 '10 at 16:01
Well, the Description field can contain anything, really. Is there any reason not to use it? – Marc D Anderson Mar 17 '10 at 16:54
You mean to say that If i have four fields below which I want to add some note like Location (First Letter should be capital) Name (ALL Capital) and so on... So i should use description field? thats what you are suggesting... – Anonymous Mar 17 '10 at 17:29
Yes, you've got it. Just try adding something into the Description for a column and then go see where it's added on the form. – Marc D Anderson Mar 17 '10 at 21:04

+1 for Marc.

But in case description is not enough, you could customize a list form with SharePoint Designer.

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And +1 for Toni. Of course, customizing the list form is perhaps going a litte far for just this requirement. It does, however, let you do almost anything you can think of. – Marc D Anderson Mar 17 '10 at 17:21
Thanks for replying but as I said I don't wanna use Designer here for customizing ..... – Anonymous Mar 17 '10 at 17:28
You can't have it both ways. Either you can use the OTB functionality for showing a description or you have to add some form of a customization. If SharePoint designer isn't an option then you can build custom forms that are deployed as a solution. The cost would be very high for very little value. – Mike Oryszak Mar 17 '10 at 18:00
@STS.PS: Sorry I did not see that part :(((, however these are the only two options. You can also upgrade to SharePoint 2010 and customize forms with InfoPath. – Toni Frankola Mar 17 '10 at 19:10

I have found the following feature to be really useful. It adds a new link to the list settings page called 'form settings'. This allows you to customise whether descriptions show on the form and where.

It can be very useful.

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