In Sharepoint 2010, I have a document library, with a mixture of managed metadata, choice, date/time and text fields.

I am using the new metadata navigation settings in 2010 to display a navigation bar to the left of my document library which allows the user to filter the document library on those fields easily, by selecting metadata items from a tree and using "Key Field" filter boxes.

My problem is that when adding Key Fields to the document library, I can only seem to select certain field types (eg managed metadata, date/time and choice), but I can't select any plain old Text fields.

It would be great to let the user filter the document library on a text field (for example, I have a field called Document Reference Number which is free text), eg by typing some text into a box and clicking a button. But I can't find any obvious way to do this.

Does anyone have any ideas?

2 Answers 2


Sorry but text fields can't be used as filters. As described here, the Metadata Navigation Settings page of a document library contains the following help text:

Fields that are available for use as navigation hierarchies include columns on this list that are one of the following types:

  • Content Type
  • Choice Field
  • Managed Metadata Field
  • Person or Group Field
  • Date and Time Field
  • Number Field

The closest option to free text is probably Choice.


I came up with some workaround for that.

What I did was: I changed column type from text field to choice. Then I added this column to metadata navigation filters (choice filter appeared in filters panel). Then I changed column type back to text field - column stayed in filter panel as a text filter

I checked and filtering was working fine.

Try that. Maybe it will work for you too.

  • I tried the workaround and it actually did work until I went back into the Metadata Navigation Settings. The text column was missing from the Key Filters list and disappeared from the navigation once I clicked OK. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 16:22

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