I am trying to create a calculated field that will add the text [PEN] to the beginning of the displayed text on my Calendar when the event is still "Pending" according to its "Approval Status".

If it is approved or rejected I don't want any additional text.

I thought I could accomplish this easily enough by creating a calculated field like so:

=IF([Approval Status]="Pending","[PEN] ","")&[Title]

However, I get 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.

I found a similar question here but no answer.

Any ideas about how I can add [PEN] to the title of my calendar items?


  • That should work...what's the field/column type of "Approval Status"?
    – Rob D'Oria
    Aug 23, 2011 at 15:45
  • I am not sure where to find its type -- it is added by the Workflow (Approval Workflow). It doesn't show up in my list of Columns ...
    – thornomad
    Aug 23, 2011 at 16:00
  • Uber late, but you may need to refer to the column by its programmatic name, _ModerationStatus.
    – TylerH
    Jul 15, 2020 at 17:17

2 Answers 2


According to this, the Approval Status field is a lookup field and not applicable for calculated fields. My approach to the issue would be to create a separate calendar view of items with a filter of Approval Status = Pending. This way, approvers can toggle between the approved and pending data and easily distiguish what needs to be approved.

  • That's not a bad idea - if there isn't a solution to the calculated field quandary I am going to have to think outside the box.
    – thornomad
    Aug 23, 2011 at 16:24

You might try this: Create a text column and make it "hidden". Use a Designer workflow to set the value of the text column. The workflow would run both when an item is created and when it has changed. Using the workflow, you can set the text of the text column and can reference the approval status column as well as the title column.

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