How do I – Solve the problem where the MS Word Document Information Panel dropdown does NOT show all the values from the source SharePoint list

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in How Do I...

I was asked this question last night. “Why doesn’t all my lookup list values show up in the Document Information Panel in Office?”

This one is a tricky little one to try and debug. Unless you know a little about what is going on in the plumbing of SharePoint and how it works behind the scenes, you may spend more time hunting this than you should. Hopefully this post will save you some time. 😉

Back to the problem…

Let’s start with the source list against which the lookup is done. Let’s define a list called “TestDropdownSource”. There’s nothing special about this list. Just add a couple of records to the list.


As you can see here, the All Items view for this list is just showing the first 3 entries, even though we have 5 records in the list.


If we look at the definition of the view in question, and then scroll all the way down and expand the “Item Limit” section, we see that I defined the number of items to display as 3 for the purpose of this demo.


Now we create a new document library called “TestSource”. We add a new column to the library and use a lookup to our source list. The library looks like this:


When we look at the Columns, we notice the “LookupValue” field.


When we look at the definition of the “LookupValue” field, we notice that it gets its information from the “TestDropdownSource” list’s Title field.


If we now add a new document to the document library (which is set to use Word), Word will open and the Document Information Panel will show the “LookupValue” field. When we open the dropdown list, we notice that ONLY 3 items are shown.


That is the problem that we are trying to solve. To fix this, we go back to the list definition for the “TestDropdownSource” list.

We open the default view’s definition. In this case, we only have the “All Items” view, but if you have more views defined, you are interested in the default view. That is because Word’s implementation of the SharePoint web services uses the default view of the source list rather than a targeted view.

Once in the view’s definition, we are going to set the number of items back up to 100.


A quick check and we see all 5 items displayed in the view.


Now simply create a new document again (or open an existing one).


And check the DIP… all should be well… 🙂




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Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

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