Content Type "Item", used in Custom List, comes by default with the column "Title" in it. However in many cases, the name “Title” is meaningless to the purpose of the list. (in some cases the type of column might not be appropriate too).

I shall create a Custom List that contains a list of clients (it will be used in conjunction with a Lookup column (in various subsites’ libraries). The list shall contain the columns “ClientID”(a text like XYZ123), “ClientShortName” (a text like ABC), “ClientFullName” (a text like "ABC-Dummy Limited"). The Custom List and the Columns will be created in the top site of the Site Collection.

The root question is: Shall I rename “Title” to my own name for example “ClientID” (to fit the purpose of my list, ie “ListOfClient”) or shall I hide “Title” (HowTo hide Title column in Custom List) and add my own column for example “ClientID”? What are the consequences of both choices?

Then come the Lookup column that will be used in the document library to supplement a file with additional metadata. For a user experience that metadata shall be representing the ClientID. I would naturally name the corresponding Site Column “ClientID”. Dilemma: There is already a column “ClientID” (either the renamed “Title” or my own column “ClientID” used in the Custom List). Both have the same name but are indeed a different column for a different purpose. The practical way I found to solve this is to name the column used in the Custom List “_ClientID” and create a Lookup column “ClientID” (that points to the _ClientID of the Custom List “ListOfCLient”).

Is there a more elegant way to do it?

2 Answers 2


If I were doing this (and I have) I would rename Title to ClientID in the lookup list in the root site collection.

The main reason is that if you create another column, Title will be blank, and SharePoint will display each as “(no title)”, and that’s what you have to click in a view to edit the item (or the ellipsis). Not natural or user friendly.

(SharePoint should allow you to pick which field is clickable to edit the item, but that’s another rant...)

Your last issue about having two ClientID columns should not be a problem. You rename Title to ClientID in the lookup list, then create a Site Column called ClientID. There is no conflict there. Since the ClientID column in the lookup list is not a Site Column (it exists only in that list) it will not affect what you call the Site Column.

  • My initial thought indeed was the idea of renaming "Title" to "ClientID". But this looks as a trick more than the proper way to define a column of the Custom List. "Title (linked to item with edit menu)" is indeed annoying if you do not use Title and/or hide it. However there is something near that could be used: Add in the View "Edit (link to edit item)" column. This is not as smart as the menu link that displays all the options (view, edit, delete, ...) but it allows to edit the item. (I've been using this a lot for files in Document Libraries)
    – gdhont
    Oct 22, 2017 at 20:43
  • Have you tried that in 2013? I’m pretty sure they broke that for lists. I forget if it works or not for Doc libs.
    – mannaggia
    Oct 22, 2017 at 23:11

If I understand the issue correctly, I think you can hide the title column if you are using the content type.

Click on the content type: enter image description here

Click the Title column (you can do this with any column in the content type)

enter image description here

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