I am trying to format a document library in our SharePoint Online platform.

The goal is to have a row with a video thumbnail, title and short description. The title is not the same as the video file and the thumbnail is also a separate png image. Therefore I have created additional columns that contain this information, but I don't want these columns to be shown.

Problem: When I hide the columns with the title or thumbnail, I cannot access the information using JSON formatting. The field where the title and thumbnail were before are empty when I hide the two columns.

How can I access the information within the hidden columns?

2 Answers 2


This is a known behavior in SharePoint.

In order to format a column or view using JSON, the column you are referencing in JSON code must be included in the list view.

According to official documentation,

You construct a JSON object that describes the elements that are displayed when a field is included in a list view, and the styles to be applied to those elements.

  • 1
    Ok. Is there any way to work around this?
    – redleo85
    Aug 18, 2020 at 15:34
  • 1
    I think there is no workaround for this as of now. You have to include the columns in the list view Aug 18, 2020 at 15:35
  • There seems to be some sort of workaround here, but I have read the article and the tips in the comments multiple times and cannot understand what they are suggesting: devscopeninjas.azurewebsites.net/2019/03/18/… Jul 29, 2021 at 1:45

For my scenario I can use a calculated column and in JSON formatting use @currentField to work with the looked up value, e.g. creating a URL out of it which is read only since it is calculated.

If you need to work with two looked up values, maybe JSON can split these into variables?

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