Add Rich Text Column in SharePoint Document Library

Problem: Could not add rich text columns to SharePoint document library, Picture Library and other type of Libraries!

A little background: End-user created a document library with column “Description” as “Multiple lines of text” and expecting this column to have the Rich text capability. So, tried editing the column, and found no option to update the type of this column as rich text!
rich text field in sharepoint document library

Troubleshooting:

When you add multiple lines of the text field to the custom list, announcement, tasks, etc, You’ll find the Rich text and Enhanced rich text options.
rich text field in sharepoint 2013 document library
However, on document libraries, these options seem missing! It just displays a Text area without any formatting! It seems you can’t have a rich text column in a document library with SharePoint 2013. So, How do we create a Rich Text column for a Document Library?
sharepoint document library rich text field

Solution: How to Add Rich Text Field to SharePoint Document Library?

While there are many options to get rich text field in SharePoint 2013 document library like Custom field types, Content Types, etc, here is the easiest way:

  • Open the site in SharePoint designer, Go to List & Libraries, Click on your library
  • Click on Edit columns under Customization >> Double click on the column which you want enable Rich Text functionality >> select the checkbox which says Rich Text and hit OK and then Save.

sharepoint 2013 document library rich text column
This fixes the problem!

PowerShell to Set Multiple Lines of Text Field Type to Rich Text in SharePoint:

Setting “RichText” property of the field to True makes SharePoint 2013 document library field rich text enabled!

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

$SiteURL = "http://intranet.crescent.com/"
$ListName="Documents"
$FieldName="Description" #Internal Name

$Web = Get-SPWeb $SiteURL
$List = $Web.Lists[$ListName]
$Field = $List.Fields[$FieldName]
$Field.RichText = $True
$Field.Update()
sharepoint 2013 document library rich text column

Similarly, To make the field type to “Enhanced Rich Text”, Set: $Field.RichTextMode = “FullHtml”

I know this issue exists in all SharePoint versions: Including SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, and even in SharePoint 2016! And yes, It’s weird, and I’m not sure why Microsoft hasn’t fixed this issue yet!

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!

3 thoughts on “Add Rich Text Column in SharePoint Document Library

  • April 27, 2020 at 4:09 AM

    Working with Edit mode of document set, but on document creation popup it is not working.

    Reply
  • November 3, 2017 at 10:25 AM

    we tried the same but didn’t worked for us

    Reply
  • August 2, 2017 at 4:18 AM

    Thank you very much for the solution and It works for me.

    How valid is the solution, do you see this breaking anything for migration or in the future.

    Reply

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