I have an InfoPath form that has a lookup field to a different List. I wanted to set Metadata navigation on the InfoPath form list so that the Lookup field would show up in the Available Heirarchy fields, but it doesn't show up there. In fact unless I have a hard coded drop down field I can't get the Metadata navigation to work. I don't want to hard code the list of field values, I want it to rely on the external list. Is there any hope for me?

2 Answers 2


You may be out of luck. According to the text in the Metadata Navigation Settings page ...

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

  • Content Type
  • Single-value Choice Field
  • Managed Metadata Field
  • these are Single-value Choice Fields. They are set to lookup their values from other lists in the site. Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 17:11
  • 1
    The metadata navigation will only read the choices that are defined in the field settings. If you use InfoPath to get choices via a secondary data connection, these will not be reflected in the column definition, but only in the control in the form. Metadata navigation does not build its values from the actual records, but only from the values in the column definition.
    – teylyn
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 20:46

You need to create a choice column on the list that contains the same values as your lookup list. Then create a workflow that runs "On Edit" (if this is a document library) to copy the value of the lookup to the choice column. Then you can add this field to the metadata navigation.

Note: if you run the workflow "on create" the user will not be able to update any meta data once after they upload a file, the workflow will have the item locked.

The other option is to use a Managed Metadata Field instead of a lookup.

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