I have defined a lookup field with multiple values over a contact list inside my SP 2013 team site, and by default I got a select list as follow:-

enter image description here

So is there a way to have the lookup field with autocomplete capabilities instead of the default select list?


  • 1
    OOB there isn't any, but you can use JavaScript to build your own. Jun 3, 2015 at 12:22
  • @ArsalanAdamKhatri i use autocomplete when i build .net applications,, but not sure how i can write an autocomplete inside my New & Edit forms to read its data from a sharepoint list .... can you advice more on this?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 12:38
  • I am not sure if this can be helpful autocompletelookupsp2013.codeplex.com but still sharing it with you.
    – Asad Refai
    Jun 23, 2015 at 9:50

4 Answers 4


You cannot do it OOTB. You need to use JSLink,SPService or Jquery for that

You can get some reference from Autocomplete with SPServices

Hope it will help you.

  • but will this approach allow to have multiple selections ? similar to the built-in People or Group which have auto complete capabilities?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:19
  • so from the link you provide i have 4 options; SPClientAutoFillcontrol, Search, JSLink, Jquery autocomplete,, but seems the jquery autocomplete will not allow multiple selection and the search approach is seems very complicated and can not re-use ,, can you adivce ?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:38
  • You can find jquery for multi select dropdown Jun 3, 2015 at 14:39
  • does this work for SharePoint can you adivce more please ?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:50

@johnG For autocomplete capability you can use jQuery as said by Kalpesh Vaghela

To retrieve list items from a SharePoint list, you can use Client Object Model for JavaScript

Reference : https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/hh185007(v=office.14).aspx#sectionSection0

Better not to use web services (recommended by Microsoft)

Reference : https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj164060.aspx#DeprecatedAPIs

  • so seems the Client Object Model will allow to select multiple values which is great,, but i did not use this before,, so how i can have this scripting capability within my site collection ,, i mean the jsScript will have predefined objects such as "SP.ClientContext(siteUrl);" etc which is not understandable by the standard jquery is this correct?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:30
  • also the link you provide regarding the COM is for SP 2010 while i am using SP 2013,, can you adivce on this please?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:34
  • 1
    ya will work for SP2013 also and can you give a try for multi select with auto complete at jqueryrain.com/?Bxwy2bPt Jun 3, 2015 at 14:52
  • 1
    All the references related to SP.ClientContext which is just JavaScript are by default added in the SharePoint site Jun 3, 2015 at 15:09
  • thanks for the link , but will jqueryrain.com/?Bxwy2bPt works in sharepoint ? as seems it is a general jquery plugin, not designed for SharePoint is this correct ?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 16:13

Here's a complete implementation of jQuery autocomplete for a normal input box with contents from a sharepoint list.

<script src="http://YOURSITEHERE/jquery.js"></script>
<script src="http://YOURSITEHERE/jquery-ui.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">

var SITE_URL = "http://YOURSITEHERE/";
var LIST_NAME = "MyList"; 
var listArray = [];
$( "<<id of your input control to autocomplete>>" ).autocomplete({
    source: listArray
$(document).ready(function() {
    var soapEnv =
        "<soapenv:Envelope xmlns:soapenv='http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/'> \
            <soapenv:Body> \
                 <GetListItems xmlns='http://schemas.microsoft.com/sharepoint/soap/'> \
                    <listName>"+ LIST_NAME + "</listName> \
                    <viewFields> \
                        <ViewFields> \

 <!-- Here is where you put the fields to retrieve -->
                           <FieldRef Name='Title' /> \  
                       </ViewFields> \
                    </viewFields> \
                </GetListItems> \
            </soapenv:Body> \

        url: SITE_URL + "/_vti_bin/lists.asmx",
        type: "POST",
        dataType: "xml",
        data: soapEnv,
        complete: processResult,
        contentType: "text/xml; charset=\"utf-8\""

 function processResult(xData, status) {
    $(xData.responseXML).find("z\\:row").each(function() {
        var listValues = $(this).attr("ows_Title");
  • ,, but could your script be extended to work inside a site template, as what i currently doing is that i am saving a subsite as Template, then users will create subsites based on the template. so how i can make the SITE_URL parameter more dynamic in a way to be equal to the current subsite url ,, could i get it from the current browser url ..
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:08
  • i forgot to mention that i need the look-up to allow multiple values is this possible ?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:10
  • You could use the following using client object model var clientContext = new SP.ClientContext(); var owebsite = clientContext.get_site.get_rootWeb(); Without client object model you can use the following var siteCollectionPath= _spPageContextInfo.siteServerRelativeUrl; Jun 3, 2015 at 14:16
  • Lookup for multiple values is a bit tricky (since you also need to be able to remove as well as add items), I will let someone else answer that Jun 3, 2015 at 14:17
  • so the script will not allow multiple selection .. is this correct ?
    – john Gu
    Jun 3, 2015 at 14:18

Hope the below code will help.

//Remove the option from possible values and adding to selected values
var eachOption = $('[title="Customer Risk Owner possible values"]').children('[value="contact2"]')[0];                              
$('[title="Customer Risk Owner selected values"]').append(eachOption);

//There is one hidden input field to store the selected values.
//Its value attribute is in a special format
var valueStringOfSelectedItems;

$("[title='Customer Risk Owner selected values'] option").each(function()
                    valueStringOfSelectedItems = $(this).val()+"|t"+this.title;

            //Selected values are added to its value attribute
            $("input[id^='Customer_x0020_Risk']").first().attr('value', valueStringOfSelectedItems);

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