I have a Person Group type site column that I am using in a custom list through content types. On the Validation Settings page of the list I cannot find that column listed in the selection list of other columns. Therefore I cannot use it in the validation formula. I tried to type it in the formula and got an error.

One or more column references are not allowed, because the columns are defined as a data type that is not supported in formulas.

How can I use a Person Group type column in the validation?

  • What type of validation you are trying to implement? Jan 5, 2015 at 22:48
  • I was trying to validate that a person-group was selected in the field and not left empty.
    – Aamir
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:03
  • In that case can't you just make it Required field? Jan 6, 2015 at 20:04
  • No, because it is one of the fields I am validating in the same formula alongside with other fields. One of the fields should be entered. If it is not the PErson-group field then the user should select the office-location field.
    – Aamir
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


Person & Group fields are complex fields. i.e they holds more information which you can treat as an object. Because of this these fields can't be used in a Formula (we can't specify which property of the object we should use (id/loginname/displayname/email)

Work around

  1. Create an event receiver and do the validation in ItemAdding
  2. Create a workflow and extract information from the person field and put it into another field. Use this new field in the formula.
  • How can this be done using a workflow?
    – mhep
    Nov 23, 2016 at 8:50

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