I am creating a page layout for SharePoint Online using SP Designer 2013. Site columns are added using Design Manager Page Fields snippets. Fields are rendered correctly but the 'Description' and 'Required(*)' properties are not shown in edit mode. Any idea why this is happening?

<div data-name="Page Field: XYZ"><!--CS: Start Page Field: XYZ Snippet--><!--SPM:<%@Register Tagprefix="PageFieldDropDownChoiceField" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c"%>--><!--MS:<PageFieldDropDownChoiceField:DropDownChoiceField FieldName="XYZ" runat="server">--><!--PS: Start of READ-ONLY PREVIEW (do not modify)--><div align="left" class="ms-formfieldcontainer"><div class="ms-formfieldlabelcontainer" nowrap="nowrap"><span class="ms-formfieldlabel" nowrap="nowrap">XYZ</span></div><div class="ms-formfieldvaluecontainer"></div></div><!--PE: End of READ-ONLY PREVIEW--><!--ME:</PageFieldDropDownChoiceField:DropDownChoiceField>--><!--CE: End Page Field: XYZ Snippet--> </div>

To show field properties, like description, you need to reference Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls. That reference should already be in the Page Layout but here is it just in case :

<!--SPM:<%@Register Tagprefix="SharePoint"  Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls" Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>-->

That namespace contains a class FieldProperty that can be used to get a field properties.

<!--SPM:<SharePoint:FieldProperty FieldName="MyCustomField" PropertyName="Description" runat="server" />-->
<!--SPM:<SharePoint:FieldProperty FieldName="MyCustomField" PropertyName="Required" runat="server" />-->

The "FieldName" attribute can be the internal name or the GUID of the field.

Need more extra work for something that should already be there ? You will need to format the "Required" value, because it will show you TRUE | FALSE.

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