JavaScript / jQuery: Set fields to read only

With SharePoint we use a lot of lists and libraries to store and share information. But not every bit of information needs to be managed/changed by users. Sometimes a workflow or code is responsible for the information. With default SharePoint it is not possible to set field to read only,  but with the help of jQuery and JavaScript we can. We can add JavaScript to the new and or edit form and disable (read only) any field we want. Make sure to disable the quick option, otherwise user will be able to edit the read only field using this feature.

SharePoint 2013/Online: Disable Quick edit

  1. Open the list or library settings
  2. Open the Advanced settings
  3. Set Quick Edit to No

SharePoint 2010: Disable Datasheet editing

  1. Open the list or library settings
  2. Open the Advanced settings
  3. Set Datasheet to No

Creating the JavaScript

  1. Open your favorite JavaScript Editor
  2. Create a new JavaScript file called HideColumns.js
  3. Add the following base code to the JavaScript file
    // A $( document ).ready() block.
    $( document ).ready(function() {
  4. Now you need to get the display names of the fields you need to set to read only (disable). Note that you need the correct name of the input, select, text area etc fields. Make sure you do not select the label of the field.
  5. You can use a DOM explorer to find the correct type of fields and the corresponding name. Note that different types are just for different columns
  6. In this example I selected the Multiple Lines of text field
  7. The selected code is
  8. In this code you are able to find the name: Multiple Lines
  9. And the type of field: textarea
  10. Do this for all the fields you need disable
  11. In my example I will disable the following fields
    Name Column Type Input field type
    Multiple Lines Multiple lines of text Textarea
    Title Single line of text Input
    Date Date and time Input
    Choice Choice Select
  12. Depended on the type of field different code is required.
  13. For Input and textarea use
    .attr("disabled", "disabled"); 
  14. For select we use
    .prop("disabled", true);
  15. The final code will look as follows
    // A $( document ).ready() block.
    $( document ).ready(function() {
        jQuery("input[title='Title']").attr("disabled", "disabled"); 
        jQuery("textarea[title='Multiple Lines']").attr("disabled", "disabled");
        jQuery("input[title='Date']").attr("disabled", "disabled"); 	
        jQuery("select[title='Choice']").prop("disabled", true);

Adding JavaScript to a form

  1. Open the edit (or new) form of the list.
  2. Set the edit form in edit mode
  3. Add the Script Editor Web Part to the page
  4. Edit the SNIPPET and add the following code

    <script src="../../SiteAssets/System/jquery-3.1.1.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script> 
    <script src="../../SiteAssets/System/HideColumns.js" type="text/javascript"></script> 
  5. Insert the code en Stop editing the form.
  6. Save the custom JavaScript HideColumns and the jQuery script in the correct location
  7. The JavaScript will now run and set the required field on read only when the edit form is opened

SharePoint 2010 Workflow: Capture document set versions

When a user changes a document set the version is not automatically capture, the user can capture the version by manually . Capturing a version manually is down with the Capture Version button located in the Document Set Tab in the ribbon. This is not the a secure way to make sure all versions are captured. With a SharePoint 2010 workflow (not workflow 2013) you can capture all the versions automatically. The solution has been tested on SharePoint 2013 On Premise and SharePoint Online (Office 365).


There is a small bug with the action Capture a version of the Document Set, the action runs multiple time (equal to the number of columns) and captures multiple versions. To prevent this from happening add a wait action to the workflow, this will make sure that only one version will be captured.

  1. Create a SharePoint 2010 workflow
  2. Configure the workflow to Start Workflow automatically when an item is Changed
  3. Add the action Wait for Field Change in Current Item
  4. Set the action to: Wait for Modified by (column) to equal Current Item: Modified By (column)
  5. Add the action Capture a version of the Document Set, with comment: Version Captured by Workflow.
  6. The full workflow looks like this