Something that I recently noticed when provisioning list columns using rest to a SP list was that some of the fields were having their first alphabetical letter encoded according to the standard character sets listed here: https://www.w3.org/Style/XSL/TestSuite/results/4/XEP/charsets.pdf

I noticed that the reason for this encoding was the inclusion of a number anywhere in the title (I had previously known that starting a title with a number would cause the number, or rather the first number, to become encoded).

I assume this encoding of the alphabetical character was always something that was present in SharePoint however I'm surprised that this is the first time I encountered this and also how there is little to no mention of this in any of the docs that I could find.

Would be interested to hear anyone's thoughts on this? Perhaps why this exists in the first place (I suspect it has something to do with SharePoint attempting to ensure distinct column names)?

1 Answer 1


My preferred workaround to this issue:

Include an underscore at the start of the title. My reason for this is that it caters for the use of a column title that happens to start with a number among other scenarios.

e.g. Title: "8Field" will be encoded to: "_x0038_Field" however by including the underscore at the start - the title will be set to: "_8Field" without any further encoding - and this can be easily handled in any application by accounting for this additional character.

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