I am new to SharePoint so please bear with me. My environment is Sharepoint 2103 standard (Planning upgrade to Enterprise soon) on premise with separate SQL server 2014 installation.

I've built several "lookup lists" as I'll call them, that contain pieces of information I will use throughout my sites. (example Employees) I've built another list (vehicles) with other pieces of information pertaining to vehicles but a "lookup" of the employee name. Works great!

Until now.

I have a document library where I want to store maintenance documents for each vehicle and when I attempt to get the employee (which is a lookup field in the vehicle list) - no deal. I can do another lookup of employees but then I have to select from all existing employees. I'm thinking SharePoint should know that I already assigned an employee to that vehicle and just deliver.

What am I missing? Can I accomplish this? Should I be using Managed Metadata instead of "lookup" lists?

Thanks in advance for your assistance and comments. Gene

  • 1
    Hello Gene, correct me if I am wrong, In a Library you need to select a value from a lookup column Vehicle. and for that value in Vehicle list selected lookup value of Employee should be display by default
    – Gaurravs
    Dec 15, 2015 at 16:18
  • Thanks for your comment Gaurravs - In the Library settings I have the lookup field which gets information from the Vehicles list. The problem seems to be that the Employee does not show up as a column to show because it is a lookup field in the vehicles list. It appears that the employee is only "displayed" in the vehicle list - not stored.
    – Gene
    Dec 15, 2015 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately what you are trying to do isn't allowed in SharePoint. You can't add additional lookup columns that are of type lookup or choice. I am not 100%, but I believe that Managed Metadata is also affected.

You have a couple of options. One being a WF that sets the second column based on the first column value. Another is to add some javascript\jquery that will get the value from the secondary column and place it there. Both may require some cleanup as Lookup values come back with the numericID and the value something like: 4;#Gene

Hopefully this helps some,


  • Thanks for all the responses. Have to chew on this a little. Why can't Sharepoint just think like we do?
    – Gene
    Dec 15, 2015 at 17:44
  • Wouldn't that just make life so much easier. Good luck! Dec 15, 2015 at 18:33

If it is must then you can use a long way..

In Vehicle list create an extra column and copy the value of lookup column(from Emp List) value to this new column using (javascript/workflow).

Now in you library simply use this column as secondary lookup along with primary lookup you having from Vehicle list.

Or the other way create a column in library and directly populate this lookup column value from Vehicle list doing some cleanup in javascript as David suggested

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