Processing the output of a SharePoint lookup column on Nintex Workflow

Processing the output of a SharePoint lookup column on Nintex Workflow

SharePoint lookup columns and lists haven’t completely been replaced by the managed metadata service on SharePoint. Using them on a Nintex Form and processing the output is easy, once you know how.

In this example, I have a list of specialist stored in a lookup list and referenced via a lookup column. In the All Items view, the list ID column is showing – this is an easy way to see what the ID is.


If you wanted to add this information to a Nintex Form, you could do it in two ways:

  1. Find the column in the item properties- after all, the information is already in a lookup column
  2. Add a lookup control and select the list

Here’s how my control is configured:


Choose the one that makes the most sense for your situation.

A very useful trick is to add a Calculated Value to your form.  The formula is just the name of the control that you want to see the output for – in this case, ssChoice.

Nintex can have trouble getting the value directly from a control; I have connected the Calculated control to my workflow string variable that will be used in the workflow.



When the form is previewed, you can see what it really looks like:


When you get back to the workflow, you will need to break that string up so that you can process each item.  Do that using a regular expression action which extracts the ID and puts it into a collection variable:


From here, you can do all sorts of things with that collection variable. In my case, I use a For-Each loop to get the user that’s associated with the role and sent them a task.

As for the regular expression that’s used, I recommend this one:


It will extract the entire number that falls before a semi-colon and can any length of ID.

Here’s what it looks like in the Regex Storm tester:


5 responses

  1. Hi Hannah,

    I think your Nintex solution here is exactly what I need. I am trying to allow for export to Excel of a list that includes lookups. These of course result in the “ValueOne;#1;ValueTwo;#2;ValueThree;#3” format for the lookup columns in the export.

    As I said, I think your solution is what I’m looking for…BUT all your images are gone! Any possibility of restoring them?



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