we need to create a lookup column from multiple lines of text column in SharePoint online list is it possible.


By design, the Multiple lines of text column type can not be used to create lookup columns.

Supported Column Types:

Single line of text


Date and Time

Unsupported Column Types:

Multiple lines of text


Person or Group


Hyperlink or Picture

Custom Columns




Refer to: Create list relationships by using unique and lookup columns


My answer relies on the following conditions being true, if working in a classic mode list, given the scarcity of any other requirements in your question:

  1. You are willing to have any rich formatting stripped out of the multi-line text field,
  2. You are also willing to create a calculated field in the source list/library which will be limited to 255 characters - as a single line of text and
  3. You are willing to permit that the lookup column only displays those 255 characters in the list with the look up column (the consumer list)

    • create a calculated column in you source list and select single line of text as the data type returned by the column. Name it whatever you like.

    • The formula should be:

    =LEFT([Multi-Line Text Field Name], 255)

    • Then create the lookup column on the Consuming List. The newly created calculated column should be present as a display value in the lookup column in the consuming list.
  • Not able to create calculated column specifying them name of "Multiple Lines Of Text" column in a formula getting an error. – Niranjan Kulkarni Apr 1 '19 at 7:33
  • In the calculated column the brackets [ and ] need to be present. The text between the brackets is the source column’s Display Name. If you wish additional input, edit your post and include a screenshot with your error. – A.k.A. Fritz Apr 11 '19 at 0:41
  • Confirmed this doesn't work - if you try to use a reference multi line field you in calculated formula you get error - "One or more column references are not allowed, because the columns are defined as a data type that is not supported in formulas" – VB Did Nothing Wrong May 27 '20 at 17:08

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