I've got a content type that contains a filed of the type user. When I want to read the ListItem I just get a string containing the users name instead of a object which contains Name, Username, E-Mail and so on. Is there a way to cast the ListItem-Field to a object or to access the child attributs?

My Code:

var t =   web.Lists[properties.ListId].Items.GetItemById(properties.ListItemId);
var username = t["Administrator"].ToString();
var username2 = (SPUser)t["Administrator"]; //Does not work
var username3 = t["Administrator"];
  • (Note: I've edited the question title to help future search - hope you don't mind)
    – SPArcheon
    Mar 20, 2012 at 12:36
  • Good question, helped me a lot +1. Sep 13, 2012 at 14:44

3 Answers 3


Assuming that you already have a reference to the list item (called "item" in the following code sample), you must first get a reference to the list field and then use the GetFieldValue method to read the actual value.

SPFieldUser userField= (SPFieldUser)item.ParentList.Fields.GetFieldByInternalName(internalName);
var fieldValue = ((SPFieldUserValue)userField.GetFieldValue((string)item[userField.InternalName]));

Note: the SPFieldUserValue class is a wrapper, the property "User" contains a reference to the actual SPUser. Also notice that my sample uses the internal name to access the field, you can change it to use the ID if you need to.

  • 2
    Spot on, just saved my bacon. +1. Sep 13, 2012 at 14:45

Shorter way of getting SPUser from the field is

var t = web.Lists[properties.ListId].Items.GetItemById(properties.ListItemId);    
var username = new SPFieldUserValue(web, t["Administrator"].ToString()).User.Name;

To get the item owner detail (Userfield column value) using C#

using(SPSite site = new SPSite("url"))
               using( SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb())
                   SPList list = web.Lists["CountryList"];
                   SPListItem item = list.GetItemById(10);
                   SPFieldUserValue userfieldvalue = new SPFieldUserValue(web,item["ItemOwner"].ToString());
                   Console.WriteLine("Item is:" + userfieldvalue.User.Name);

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