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I have a site column Construction - Complete Date which is used by my calculated column Construction - Is Complete?. Whenever a date is entered for the Construction - Complete Date then Construction - Is Complete? should be equal to "Yes" otherwise it is "No".

My calculated column formula reads as below:

=IF(ISBLANK([Construction - Complete Date]),"No","Yes")  

However, when I save the calculated column and check my existing rows the calculation is not being done correctly. When I go back to my calculated column the formula has changed to this:


I've read in this blog article that it is a problem for site columns but not for list columns and that the solution is to change the name and remove the "-". However, I need to keep it as a site column because it is used by multiple content types and I use the "-" convention to group common fields that are all for the same list entry. Is there an alternative option where I could keep the name and get the calculated column to work?

marked as duplicate by Waqas Sarwar MVP Aug 2 '18 at 3:09

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Strangely, this works in SP 2013. I will try to reproduce the issue on SP 2010. Is "Construction - Complete Date" column of type DateTime? – Slaven Semper Nov 10 '14 at 10:18

The Construction - Complete Date is the Name of your column, but if you look closely, you'll find that SharePoint changes that '-' into a space. Hover over the column in the library/list settings under Column, and you'll find the internal name of the SharePoint column, and use that.

  • I tried change the "-" to a space (3 spaces total) but that didn't work ("Construction Complete Date"). I got the error "The formula refers to a column that does not exist." Also, when hovering over the column in the settings I didn't see the internal name. – skeletank Dec 31 '12 at 17:00
  • Try with another space between Construction and Complete. Remember it's "Construction - Complete Date" so removing the "-" out and replacing it with a space makes it "Construction---Complete Date" (three spaces between Construction and Complete. – Mike Dec 31 '12 at 17:10
  • That's what I did. In my comment I entered 3 spaces but SharePoint Overflow reduced it to 1. – skeletank Dec 31 '12 at 18:12
  • Well try hovering over the column link in the list settings and it will show a URL with the Internal Column name in its parameters. Use that and consider %20 is a space – Mike Jan 1 '13 at 18:32
  • I tried using the internal name (which includes '_x0020' and other weird characters) but it did not recognize it. BTW, I need to change this at the content type level and not at the list level so the internal name at the list settings level might not be the same. – skeletank Jan 2 '13 at 14:43

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