I'm not overly experienced with Sharepoint, but usually my Google-fu is pretty good...until now. Office 2007, SP 2007, Win7/Vista environment, I am a subsite administrator. When viewing a multiple-line rich text field in Datasheet view, any text entered in the column is automatically formatted with black highlighting on black text.

Most of the Google results deal with changing the sheet background color, which apparnetly can be modified via the CSS; unfortunately, this is not my issue. From poking around with IE Dev Tools, I can't see any CSS being applied in the Datasheet view at all.

This technet thread here suggested disabling Norton, which doesn't apply in my case, or changing the default font of the Datasheet view from MS Sans Serif (which is apparently not well supported in Vista/7, being replaced by Microsoft Sans Serif). Unfortunately, I don't know how to do this, so I can't verify if this fixes the problem.

My workaround is to change all rich text boxes to plain text boxes, but that involves a significant loss of functionality. Any thoughts?

  • I searched for any solution to this issue. But no solution it seems.
    – user8241
    Commented May 8, 2012 at 11:04
  • We had a similar problem and it was multi line text fields. I think it is something to do with maybe an unsupported font or something. To be honest I do not know the real reason we can only speculate. As our server is located in the back of beyond in another country and I have no idea about SP server administration or bug fixing I can only tell my users "Um don't know".
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 8:59

3 Answers 3


We were able to resolve this for our users by installing Microsoft's Access Runtime. Link for SharePoint 2010. Link for SharePoint 2007. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks that solved my problems both with the blackout and other issues with the datasheet.
    – user39568
    Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 21:17

This is a VERY old thread but we just had this issue. Just want to add to the answer.

If your field has multiple lines set it as Plain Text. This fixed it for us.


I just changed the field to PLAIN TEXT and it did solve the problem. However, I really didn't want PLAIN text in that field. Now I have a new problem.

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