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When I try to publish the value of an Infopath 2010 drop-down box to a SharePoint list, InfoPath forces me to choose a function (first, last, count, or merge). Why can't I just publish the user-selected value?

publishing wizard

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Hard to tell from your screenshot, but if you scroll up in that dialog is your field in a "repeating section"? It would have a little blue arrow on the folder icon. – Alex May 1 '13 at 17:12
Yes, it's in a repeating section. – LCountee May 1 '13 at 17:48
up vote 1 down vote accepted

InfoPath won't know which value to use if it is in a repeating section or is a repeating field (a "list" of sorts which allows you to add multiple values for any one field/group of fields). Either remove it from the repeating section or choose one of the functions to use. I'd wager that you want the former option. FYI, I believe "merge" will include all values selected in the repeating section into one column on the list item. That could also be a valid workaround depending on your requirements.

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Wow, my brain must have stayed home today. You are absolutely right. – LCountee May 1 '13 at 19:02

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