Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 4: Bamboo Visual Indicator

Continuing our series on Bamboo Custom Columns, today we’ll discuss the Bamboo Visual Indicator. The Bamboo Visual Indicator gives you the ability to display incremental progress or any other status in the form of a color-coded bar or a percentage-based progress bar. Visual indicators support both floating tooltip information and custom color sets, and display percentage information in both visual and numeric form, enabling you to quickly scan through lengthy SharePoint lists at a glance, while still retaining access to individual list item data:

The Bamboo Custom Columns are not as scary as they may sound. They’re simply just new column data types that users can select from when creating a new column. As mentioned above, there are two types of visual indicators that the Visual Identifier column provides: color-code and progress bar. Let’s start with the color-code feature.

Color Indicator

When first selecting the Bamboo Visual Indicator column data type, a user is presented with a list of options. By default, the Color Indicator (color-code) mode is selected. Color Indicator mode is driven off of existing columns that are of data types:

  • Choice (NOTE: does not support Checkbox mode of Choice)
  • Lookup (NOTE: does not support multiple selections)

To select an existing column for association, open the drop-down menu List Column. Notice that only columns of the data types mentioned above are listed:

Upon selecting a column (in our example, we’re using Priority) notice that all available options of the choice column are listed below.  If the selected column had been a Lookup column, all unique lookup values would appear below:

The next step is to select which color will identify each value.  There are a variety of ways to associate colors.  The easiest method is to simply click Auto Fill Colors which will automatically select a random color for each value.  If you prefer to define a specific color yourself, you have two options: You can select a color from the available drop-down menu, or you can enter the HEX color code directly for alternative colors:

When you have completed the configuration of the column, select OK to see the results. NOTE: Make sure to add the new column to your view to make it visible to your users.

To quickly view what each color indicates, simply hover the mouse over the item of interest to view the color legend:


Percent Bar

The second mode of Visual Indictor column is a progress bar based on columns of Number data. Upon creating a new column and selecting Bamboo Visual Indicator as the data type, select Percent Bar:

The next step is to select the column to associate with the indicator column. Again, this drop-down is filtered to only display Number columns:

NOTE: If the selected column does not have Percent enabled, the value entered must be .XX format to be read correctly.  For example, to display 33% in the progress bar with percent not enabled, the user must enter .33 in the column.

General Notes

  • These columns are only displayed in List Views and the Display Form. When creating new items or modifying existing items, these columns are hidden.
  • You do not have to display the original column in the view for the Visual Indicator column to work.
  • All Bamboo Custom Columns are not supported in Datasheet View, Document Information Panel in desktop Microsoft Office products, or InfoPath forms.

Read our entire series dedicated to Bamboo Custom Columns: