I want to view an XML definition of a site column. At the moment the only way I know of doing it is through a PowerShell script:


Is it possible to do the same through the UI or a SharePoint Designer?

3 Answers 3


Ever since v1 of SharePoint Team Services, Microsoft has used OWSSVR.DLL to remotely invoke functions against SharePoint. It is part of SharePoint Foundation Remote Procedure Call (RPC) protocol.

To read more about the OWSSVR.DLL command follow URL Protocol from Microsoft Blog.

The query:


allows to export a List Schema


  1. To determine List Guid, go to List - List Settings - copy List parameter from Url
  2. Construct the following query:


    where {ListGuid} corresponds to the List Guid

  3. The list schema will be generated as demonstrated below:

    enter image description here


You can try using SharePoint Manager. It is a free tool.

  • Thank you! Can it connect to remote SharePoint server?
    – niaher
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 4:07
  • No it does not allow connecting to remote servers. There is another similar tool which can connect to remote servers sprm.codeplex.com but this is only available for SharePoint 2010 not 2013 Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 5:56
  • Cool. Thank you! What an unfortunate name though 'sprm'...
    – niaher
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 6:35

You will find most of the out of the box columns and content types on the file system of your local server:

For Site Columns look at:

  • SharePoint 2010: HIVE14\Templates\Features\fields\fieldwss*.xml
  • SharePoint 2013: HIVE15\Templates\Features\fields\fieldwss*.xml

For Site Content Types take a look:

  • SharePoint 2010 HIVE14\Templates\Features\ctypes\
  • SharePoint 2013 HIVE15\Templates\Features\ctypes\

What is not in the xml files stored in the directories is other content types then the one that exist in the SharePoint Foundation. Additional content types come with additional features and can be found the features folder there.

For custom columns you will only find this using SharePoint Manager.

Remember you can take a look into those files but you are note allowed to change this files. Handle with care.

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