SharePoint 2010 Using the Lookup Column to Display an Image

Last month I was asked a question about lookup columns from a user who had read through my SharePoint 2010- Lookup Columns Additional Column Options post. They wondered if there was a way to have an image column be pulled over as part of the lookup using the additional fields option. While you can’t do it directly, there is a way to accomplish it using an SPW Workflow and some extra columns.

Here is the question:

Is there a way to display an Image in Lookup field? I have an Images displaying in list that I’m pulling fields from, but image field does not show up in “Additional fields” group. It is a “Hyperlink or Picture” field formatted as a picture.

Here is a potential solution:

In the list that contains the image links you want to reference, add an additional single line of text column. In my example I will call this column “Image URL”. Create a SharePoint Designer Workflow that when an item is added or deleted the Image URL field is set to the value stored in Image, where Image is your Hyperlink or Picture field formatted as a picture. The finished results would look similar to what is below:

New Item Page:

List View:


In the list that you want to do the lookup, create the lookup column and include the Image Transfer as an additional Field. Also, create a Hyperlink or Image field formatted as a picture. You would then use an SPD workflow to take the value from the additional field and set the Hyperlink field. Once the fields are set, you could just use views to hide and display the specific fields you want to show.

New List Item:

List View:

List Column Settings:

List Settings View:


Using this approach could get you what you needed, but it does require an additional column in each library. You could use content types to hide and display the columns, but that adds another level of management. I am not sure if that would be a good solution for all cases, but I did want to put it out there as a way to complete the request. I am sure there are other ways as well to complete the same task.

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