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I'm trying to create a calculated column (text) which contains a combination of 3 other columns. I've asked another similar question but that was a different subject - now I'm trying to do this in a new column rather than the built-in Title column.

The relevant columns in this list are:

  • [Date From] - Date/Time (Date Only)
  • [Date To] - Date/Time (Date Only)
  • [Created By] - User (built-in)
  • [Caption] - Calculated (Text)

I took at look at some documentation and wrote the following formula:

=TEXT([Date From], "mm-dd-yy")&" - "&TEXT([Date To], "mm-dd-yy")&": "&[Created By]

However I'm unable to save it, with an error message:

One or more column references are not allowed, because the columns are defined as a data type that is not supported in formulas.

I expect the output to be for example:

10/14/2013 - 10/20/2013: John Smith

How do I make this formula work? I'm assuming that it's complaining about the "Created By" column, right? How would I get around that?

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Unfortunately not all column types can be used in a calculated column. As you suspected Person or Group columns, the column type of Created By, are not allowed to be used in calculated columns. I suggest that you use the solution that I gave for your previous question. The best that you can do is save the value into another column using a workflow though as I mentioned in that answer there is a delay when it saves because the workflow may not have finished before the page reloaded.

Also note that you might want to create another column to store the previous values of Date From, Date To, Created By, and Caption so that you only update your new field if one of those changes. If you have other columns in the list that change you don't want it updating the combined field. This can cause problems when you have multiple workflows for the same list and they trigger each other back and forth.

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