How do I customize Sharepoint alerts (selection of fields and order in which fields are displayed) RRS feed

  • Question

  • We're trying to set up alerts to notify users when new items are posted, and the setting up of the alerts is easy enough. I've also been able to use the fabulous guide to customizing alerts (found here --> to get the alert template customized with fewer fields and a nice custom footer.

    However, I'm still having a problem with one pesky field that shouldn't be there and with the order of the fields.

    The field that shouldn't be displayed is named State/Province and I have represented it in the <ImmediateNotificationExcludedFields> and <DigestNotificationExcludedFields> tags as State_x002f_Province (which should be the right way to do it). However, every time, I still get this field appearing in the e-mails. Odder still, I can't find any leading or trailing spaces that might be bollixing the works. Is there some other hex code that I should be using instead of what I have above?

    The other issue is with the display of fields - I'd like to know if there's an easy way to set the order myself (or even understand HOW it's ordering items). I thought at first that it was displaying them alphabetically, or perhaps in order by where they appear on the form, but neither is true.

    So, those are my two questions:

    1. How do I get this one field to stop displaying? (all of my other attempts to hide fields have worked)

    2. Is it possible to identify or even change how Sharepoint is ordering the fields for display in the alert message?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions, ideas, etc.!

    • Edited by Mike Walsh FIN Monday, May 24, 2010 4:42 PM Don't write "Need Help" in Titles. They aren't problem descriptions
    Monday, May 24, 2010 4:17 PM

All replies

  • I too would really like to understand how fields are ordered in the alert message. Recently a user complained because they had set up an alert to be sent whenever an item was modified on the list, but the field that was changed did not display in the alert message. Is there an easy way for site owners with no development experience to configure alerts to display the data that are important to them?

    • Proposed as answer by Michael_ICS Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:59 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Michael_ICS Wednesday, October 3, 2012 9:59 PM
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 4:10 PM
  • There seems to be a consistent theme... I need to be able to configure alerts and anticipate changes along the way to developing the final product. I have had rather arduouse experience with the order of representing fields from columns and this inability to alter that is prohibitive. So for me question 2 is paramount. Thanks.
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 4:46 PM
  • In the end, I gave up on SP alerts. I found them to be too clunky and too difficult to customize to my own needs. Sure, you can customize them, but you have to dig so deep and some things still seem to be well hidden/unchangeable that it became *not worth it*. Also, in our case, since the point was to alert users when new items were posted, I ended up solving the problem by simply tying a listserv software package to the RSS feed, so it shoots out updates when new items are posted based on whatever's published in the RSS feed. This also allows me to control internal/external users, so that I can e-mail people who aren't in my AD tree, so that was a nice bonus.

    I would still like to know how much customization can be done with alerts, but lacking any other info, I found a solution that appears to work quite nicely for what I was aiming to solve. Hope you guys are able to find solutions that are similarly helpful!

    -- Judy
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 5:06 PM
  • I create custom workflows in SPD for this type of thing.  The only thing I don't like about the custom workflow solution is that my users receive an email each and every time the field is changed in each and every item.  I wish I could batch these to go out once a day or once a week like with alerts.
    Tamara Bredemus SharePoint Minion...working up to Maven
    Thursday, July 8, 2010 5:49 PM
  • SharePoint follows the order in which the fields/columns were created in a list. If you really want to change the order of fields displayed in the alert message, determine the order of fields first and then recreate your list fields in that specific order one after the other.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 4:25 PM
  • Wow, being perfect the first time around seems a tall order! I'm having the same issue as those above - want to hide hidden fields in alerts, and to change the order of the fields displayed in alerts.  I created the list for my team, but of course they want to add things to it later.
    There are no mistakes; every result tells you something of value about what you're are trying to accomplish.
    Monday, July 11, 2011 11:36 PM
  • Try this solution. It's worked great for us to have greater control over alerts.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 2:52 PM
  • Thanks, that is exactly what I did and it worked;

    • Exported the list to a spreadsheet,
    • Reordered the fields so that the field I wanted in the alert is now the first column in the spreadsheet,
    • Imported the spreadsheet to a new list
    Tuesday, September 18, 2012 1:52 PM
  • I found this over in the TechNet Blog:

    Go to your List Settings page.  Modify the URL from -

    To -

    I.E.  Change  "listedit" to "formedt" (not "formedit")  in the URL.

    The page that appears will allow you to reorder your site columns.  Save this page, and your next alert will be in the order you just created.  Yeah!  This worked perfectly for me.  Hopefully no side-effects - we'll see!

    • Edited by Michael_ICS Wednesday, October 3, 2012 10:06 PM Clarified
    Wednesday, October 3, 2012 10:04 PM
  • Digging this up from the grave...

    So I don't have an answer about hiding fields, but I found that the way it's listed is the way it's ordered in the input fields page.

    When someone inputs information to the page where all the fields are (example: first name, last name...), that form is the same order as the alert.  I was rearranging my fields and I noticed it completely matched my alert that was sent out.

    The only issue that I have is with what SteveDStewert had, where someone else said they got an alert and it didn't show what fields were edited.  My reason was that I had uploaded documents and it says that the item changed, but doesn't say anything about the attachments added.

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012 10:20 PM
  • Workflows are the great solution to create complex alerts in SharePoint, as you can insert any field, use dynamic conditions and recipients. Here are some options to help not to spam users:

    1. If you want an alert to fire only once, you will initiate the workflow on item creation, and then wait for a change in a certain field.
    2. You can also use a “control field” to indicate that an alert has been sent.
    3. To send alerts on some intervals, you can pause your workflow until some date, then check you condition and either send an alert or retrigger your workflow (using the “control field”).
    Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:47 AM
  • The workflow is a good solution when you need to send customized messages for one or two lists in SharePoint, but if you need it for all lists and document libraries you will spend a lot of time to create all these workflows and if you will need to change something in the template later...

    The solution is HarePoint Custom Alerts for SharePoint.

    It is a very simple and power tool, it works as event receiver and can replace the standard allerts with own one. This way aloows to create the personal alerts for required Documet Libraries and Lists or change it globally.

    Friday, June 28, 2013 3:51 PM