I am confused on how i need to appraoch my current case, to change the built-in Description field from being "Rich Text" to be "Enhanced Rich Text". now i have the following:-

  1. on-premise SharePoint server 2013 and other servers are 2016.
  2. i have created my custom content type which inherit from the built-in "Issue" content type.
  3. Now the built-in Issue content type contain a field named "Description" with the following settings (where this field is set as Rich Text):-

enter image description here

  1. now inside my team site, i added a new cusotm list and i set it to use the new content type.
  2. now my list items will have the Description field with Rich Text capabilities.

now i need to do the following modification:-

  1. i want to change my Description field to be of type "Enhanced Rich Text" instead of just "Rich Text" to allow users to add images.

now i find these 2 main approaches:-

  1. I can go to the site column and chnage the column type to be "Enhanced Rich Text" and chose to apply the changes to all the list columns.

  2. Or i can create a new site column named for example "Custom Description" of type "Enhanced Rich Text" and hide the built-in "Description" field.

now i would avoid approach-1 because in general modifying built-in site columns should be avoided , because these modifications might be overridden in the future if we do an upgrade or if we install commulative or public updates to our SharePoint farm. Now in appraoch-2 means extra work and also i am afraid that buit-in features might break or not work correctly if my list items have empty Description.. especially the Search service which by default will show the Description of the items inside the search results... so if i follow appraoch-2 could this mean that my list items will appear on the search result with empty description ??

so can anyone adivce on this please?


EDIT Search result for my items will be as follow:-

enter image description here

where by defualt the search result will show the item Title + Description + URL .. so if i hide the built-in Description field and i add a new Custom Description field, will the new Custom description field be shown inside the search result instead of the built-in Description field ???

1 Answer 1


You are correct about option 1. It is not ideal to modify out-of-the-box columns, especially the ones located under the _Hidden group.

Option 2 is good. Just remove the default Description column from the content type you created and add a new column called Description. It should work to give it the same name. If it does not, then I presume you can call it Issue Description or something similar.

About Search Results

Your new Description field will be available as a managed property in the Search Centre site collection, which can be used in the search results however you want by modify the display templates used by the result type associated with your content type.

I cannot give you simple steps here on how to update the display template. You can read the following series: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/tothesharepoint/2013/08/27/how-to-change-the-way-search-results-are-displayed-in-sharepoint-server-2013/

  • now my first question is regarding the search result, where i did the following test; I hide the built-in Description site column from the content type, then i added a new site column named "issue description" i define its type to be "Enhanced rich text",, i added some test items, then i run a full crawl.. then i try searching my items by their title,, and i was surprise how smart is the search,, as inside the search result display template, i can see the item title + the custom description field.. now i am not sure how did sharepoint chooses the custom description field to be shown..
    – John John
    Apr 21, 2017 at 0:52
  • ..but could the reason be that sharepoint will automatically display the text of the first multiple-line site column inside the item.. so the result i got is as follow:- Item title + custom description + url to the item display form... so do you have any idea how sharepoint chooses the new custom description field to be shown inside the search result ??
    – John John
    Apr 21, 2017 at 0:52
  • btw i added a screen shot inside my original question showing how the search result is being shown for my items...
    – John John
    Apr 21, 2017 at 1:06
  • can you advice on my above comments please?
    – John John
    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:38
  • Well, I did not expect that. I have never used the Issue content type before and it has been a long time since I needed to care how search results are displayed. What did you name your column to? Maybe SP created the result type associated with your content type after you added your new Description column and it automatically used it in how search results are displayed. Either way, your problem is solved then.
    – Mihail
    Apr 22, 2017 at 9:00

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