SharePoint Online: Add Choice Field to List using PowerShell

Requirement: PowerShell to add choice field to list in SharePoint Online.

How to Add Choice Field to SharePoint Online List?

The choice column in SharePoint Online is used to provide a pre-defined set of choices for the metadata column. Based on the settings you configure, This field may accept a single value or multiple values. Presented as a drop-down list or radio buttons when configured for single selection and displayed as checkboxes when we configure it for multiple selections. To add a choice field from Web UI, follow these steps:

  • Browse to your SharePoint Online site and navigate to the target list in which you want to add the Choice column.
  • Under the List tab, click on the “Create Column” button in the ribbon.
  • Provide the Name to your new column, specify the type as “Choice (menu to choose from)” 
    sharepoint online add choice column to list using powershell
  • Scroll down and enter choices to the given list as one choice per line
    powershell to create choice column in sharepoint list
  • Fill in other optional values such as Choice field type (Dropdown/Radio button/Checkbox) and click on “OK” to create a Choice field in the SharePoint Online list.

PowerShell to Create Choice Field in SharePoint Online List:

Here is the PowerShell CSOM script to add choice column to SharePoint Online list.

#Load SharePoint CSOM Assemblies
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"

#Custom function to add column to list
Function Add-ChoiceColumnToList()
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $SiteURL,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $ListName,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $Name,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $DisplayName,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $ChoiceValues,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)] [string] $DefaultValue,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)] [string] $Description=[string]::Empty,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)] [string] $IsRequired = "FALSE",
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)] [string] $EnforceUniqueValues= "FALSE",
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)] [string] $Format ="Dropdown",
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)] [string] $FillInChoice="FALSE"

    #Generate new GUID for Field ID
    $FieldID = New-Guid

    Try {
        $Cred= Get-Credential
        $Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Cred.Username, $Cred.Password)

        #Setup the context
        $Ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteURL)
        $Ctx.Credentials = $Credentials
        #Get the List
        $List = $Ctx.Web.Lists.GetByTitle($ListName)

        #Check if the column exists in list already
        $Fields = $List.Fields
        $NewField = $Fields | where { ($_.Internalname -eq $Name) -or ($_.Title -eq $DisplayName) }
        if($NewField -ne $NULL)  
            Write-host "Column $Name already exists in the List!" -f Yellow
           #Frame Choices
            $Choices = $ChoiceValues.Split(",")
            foreach ($Choice in $Choices)
                $ChoiceOptions = $ChoiceOptions + "<CHOICE>$Choice</CHOICE>"
            #Define XML for Field Schema
            $FieldSchema = "<Field Type='Choice' ID='{$FieldID}' DisplayName='$DisplayName' Name='$Name' Description='$Description' Required='$IsRequired' FillInChoice='$FillInChoice' Format='$Format'><Default>$DefaultValue</Default> <CHOICES>$ChoiceOptions</CHOICES></Field>"
            $NewField = $List.Fields.AddFieldAsXml($FieldSchema,$True,[Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.AddFieldOptions]::AddFieldInternalNameHint)

            Write-host "New Column Added to the List Successfully!" -ForegroundColor Green  
    Catch {
        write-host -f Red "Error Adding Column to List!" $_.Exception.Message

#Set parameter values
$DisplayName="Project Department"
$Description="Enter the Project Department"
$Format="RadioButtons" #Override default parameter value Dropdown

#Call the function to add column to list
Add-ChoiceColumnToList -SiteURL $SiteURL -ListName $ListName -Name $Name -DisplayName $DisplayName -Description $Description -Format $Format -ChoiceValues $ChoiceValues -DefaultValue $DefaultValue

This PowerShell script adds a new choice column for given parameters.

Tips: How to Add MultiChoice Column? Just change “Field Type=’MultiChoice'” in the Field schema XML

Add Choice Field to SharePoint Online List using PnP PowerShell

#Config Variables
$SiteURL = ""
$ListName= "Projects"

#Get Credentials to connect
$Cred = Get-Credential

#Connect to PnP Online
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials $Cred

#Add Choice Field
Add-PnPField -List $ListName -DisplayName "Department" -InternalName "Department" -Type Choice -AddToDefaultView -Choices "Sales","Marketing","Purchase", "IT", "HR" 

Similarly, you can add a choice column to the SharePoint Online list from XML too.

#Config Variables
$SiteURL = ""
$ListName= "Projects"

#Get Credentials to connect
$Cred = Get-Credential

#Connect to PnP Online
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials $Cred

#Genrate New GUID for List ID
$FieldID = ([GUID]::NewGuid()).GUID

#Define XML Schema for Choice Field
$FieldXML= "<Field Type='Choice' Name='Priority' ID='$FieldID' DisplayName='Priority'>
                      <CHOICE>(1) High</CHOICE>
                      <CHOICE>(2) Normal</CHOICE>
                      <CHOICE>(3) Low</CHOICE>
                <Default>(2) Normal</Default>

#Add Choice Field to list from XML
Add-PnPFieldFromXml -FieldXml $FieldXML -List $ListName

Change the Field type to “MultiChoice” if you need a multiple choices column. Set Format=’RadioButtons’ for radio buttons choice.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

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