Validate SharePoint People Editor in SharePoint 2010


Validation of SharePoint PeopleEditor WebControl on the client-side is often required. On server side validation is supported, see AllowEmpty and  ValidatorEnabled properties for details, but the lack of client side validation makes it inconvenient for scenarios where client side validation is mandatory. So let’s discuss some techniques how it could be achieved.

Server-Side Validation

In order to enable/disable validation for Entity Editor based controls (like People Editor) the following properties should be specified in combination:

For example, the  code below demonstrates how to disable empty values:


Client-Side Validation

Let’s start with the simple method that allows to check if PeopleEditor control is not empty.

The code below demonstrates  how to validate if SharePoint PeopleEditor control value is not empty

function validateIfPeopleEditorNotEmpty(peId) {
var $pe = $("#" + peId);
var $peValHolder = $pe.find("input[id$='hiddenSpanData']");
return ($peValHolder.val().length > 0);

It can be used in the following scenarios:

Since jQuery is commonly used  in SharePoint front-end development, it validation  capabilities could be used  for  PeopleEditor,  for example  jQuery Validation plugin. The code below demonstrates how validation rule that allow us to verify if PeopleEditor value is not empty, may look like.

//People Editor Validator with jQuery Validation plugin
function validatePeopleEditor(peId,messageText)
var $pe = $("#" + peId);
var $peValHolder = $pe.find("input[id$='hiddenSpanData']");
$peValHolder.rules("add", {
required: true,
messages: {
required: messageText


Initializing SharePoint People Editor using JavaScript in SharePoint 2010

Sometimes SharePoint PeopleEditor WebControl need to be initialized on the client side.

Initialize People Editor control

//Init People Picker
//peoplePickerId – SharePoint People Editor ClientID
//pickerEntityXml – PickerEntity in xml (see method ToXmlData for class PickerEntity)
function initPeoplePickerBox(peoplePickerId, pickerEntityXml) {
var $pe = $("#" + peoplePickerId);
var entityProps = {LoginName: pickerEntityXml.attr("Key"),
UserName: pickerEntityXml.attr("DisplayText"),
Description: pickerEntityXml.attr("Description")};
var entityExtendedProps = pickerEntityXml.find("ArrayOfDictionaryEntry");
var $peData = $pe.find("input[id$='hiddenSpanData']");
var $peDisplayArea = $pe.find("div[id$='_upLevelDiv']");
var displayData = "<span id='span{LoginName}' iscontenttype='true' tabindex='-1' class='ms-entity-resolved' contenteditable='false' title='{LoginName}'>" +
" <div style='display:none;' id='divEntityData' key='{LoginName}' displaytext='{UserName}' isresolved='True' description='{LoginName}'>" +
" <div data='{PickerEntityData}'></div>" +
" </div>" +
" <span id='content' tabindex='-1' contenteditable='false' onmousedown='onMouseDownRw(event);' oncontextmenu='onContextMenuSpnRw(event,ctx);'>{UserName}</span>" +
var pickerEntityData = convertFromXML(entityExtendedProps[0]);
displayData = displayData.replace(/{LoginName}/g, entityProps.LoginName);
displayData = displayData.replace(/{UserName}/g, entityProps.UserName);
displayData = displayData.replace('{PickerEntityData}', pickerEntityData);

Clear People Editor control

//Clear People Picker
//peoplePickerId – SharePoint People Editor ClientID
function clearPeoplePickerBox(peoplePickerId) {
var $pe = $("#" + peoplePickerId);
var $peData = $pe.find("input[id$='hiddenSpanData']");
var $peDisplayArea = $pe.find("div[id$='_upLevelDiv']");