Create a SharePoint Lookup Column to another Site

The story of a Site Column

I have been working with SharePoint for quite some time now, and have come to realize that a lot of SharePoint users do not use what is available out of the box. Very popular example for this is the lookup column.

The problem:

I want to create a lookup column in my list/library that looks up data that comes from a list/library of another site.

Many SharePoint users believe this is out right unavailable without coding some sort of a solution. Well there is a solution.


As long as you stay in the same Site Collection, you can create a lookup Site Column that will be used to get information from a list that is available in a parent site. The Site Column must be created in the same site as the referenced list/library.

Let me guide you through this..

Our scenario has a Site called Training with a List I just created called Manufacturers in which I have 5 sample Manufacturers

Now while staying in the Training Site, I am going to create a Site Column of type “Lookup”:

1. Go to Site Actions then Site Settings

2. Click on Site Columns

3. Create a new Site Column

4. Give it a name and choose “Lookup” as type. In this example I chose to lookup my Manufacturers list

5. I went to my subsite called in this example “Subsite”

6. Add your Site Column to any list/library you would like to use it with. I am going to add it to my “Shared Documents” Library. Go to Library Settings:

7. Click on Add from Existing Site Columns under the Columns section of your settings

8. Find and add your Site Column

9. Success! Lookup column looking for values of a list/library on another Parent Site