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List Template problems with look up columns

Most of the lists have look up columns. Look up columns are not saved when you create a list template. So creating list templates and using in a new site is not helpful.  

Some of the lists are very large and it is not possible to go one by one to each item and set the look up field. We have to create the templates from english site (/en) using a workaround such that look up fields are also saved along with the template.

Below is an example in which we have an english site (/en) and its variation site in French (/fr). We shall generate a list template from /en and apply our workaround and create a list using that template in French (/fr) site.

Let us fix ‘Sub Property Type’ list. First of all we need to create a template for ‘Sub Property Type’ List such that look up fields are also saved with the template. To save the template, perform the following steps: 

/en = source label

/fr = new label or target label

Dont confuse here, just take /en and /fr two different sites.


The look up is performed on the ‘Country’ List. ‘Sub Property Type’ List uses the look up column to use data from ‘Country’ List.

‘Country’ List should be already created in /fr. This should be the same list as in /en.

  1. Browse to the /en ‘Country’ List and click Settings à List Settings.
  2. Copy the /en ‘Country’ List GUID from the URL. It should be a sequence of numbers and letters similar to:  7B7E15C684%2DE530%2D4BAD%2D89E5%2D2FFC5AF687EE%7D
  3. Delete %** from the string and replace with a dash sign (-). There should be no dash sign (-) at the start and the end. GUID should be in the following format: 7E15C684-E530-4BAD-89E5-2FFC5AF687EE
  4. Browse to the /fr ‘Country’ List and click Settings à List Settings
  5. Copy the /fr ‘Country’ List GUID from the URL. Fix this GUID in the same way as in number 2
  6. Save the /en ‘Sub Property Type’ List as a list template called SubPropertyTypeList.stp. (‘Sub Property Type’ List has a look up column to ‘Country’ List)
  7. Export SubPropetyTypeList.stp from List Template Gallery to the file system
  8. Go to /en, Site Actions à Site Settings à Modify All Site Settings à under Site Colleciton Administration à click Go to Top Level Site Settings à under Galleries à click List Templates
  9. Click SubPropertyTypeList and save it
  10. Rename the SubPropertyTypeList.stp file to SubPropertyTypeList.cab
  11. Open the file, copy manifest.xml file and paste it to the file system
  12. Open manifest.xml file in notepad for editing. Find the /en ‘Country’ List (source Web’s lookup list) GUID and replace it with the /fr ‘Country’ List GUID.
  13. Save the manifest.xml file
  14. Open a command prompt and run the makecab command as follows:
    • makecab manifest.xml SubPropertyTypeListNew.stp
  15. Go to List Template Gallery as in number 6
  16. Click Upload and upload the newly created template
  17. Delete Sub Property Type List list from /fr if it is already created
  18. Create a new list based upon the new list template (SubPropertyTypeListNew.stp)


The lookup column on the new list should retain all the data that was in the source list. In the above mentioned procedure we have set the template to look for the look up columns in /fr ‘Country’ List instead of /en ‘Country’ List.

Now you should not need to go to each and every item in the list and fix the look up manually. 

Hopefully I didnt confuse you too mcuh with my /en’s and /fr’s :)…………..


  1. Bo
    July 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

    I have encountered the same situation, however the solution didn’t work for me. My look up column is multi-selected.

    I ended up copy/pasted from Datasheet. One click is done.

  2. April 19, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Thanks, this helped resolve my issue.

  3. March 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I have the same problem. But your tips didn’t help me. Do you have any advice.

  4. Cloudi
    April 6, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    It works for me when I delete in the Field Type, where I change the list ID, everything, that comes after RowOrdinal=”0″ (there was a Web-Id and other things).
    I had a list with three lookups, one worked with your solution and the others not and that was the difference between the working and the nonworking Field Types.
    I don’t know if this is a good solution and I don’t know if it maybe breaks something, but for the moment it works.

  5. April 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Interesting article. Thank you for sharing…

  6. Ritu
    September 13, 2011 at 7:03 am

    This is realy helpfull. I am able to import data properly for lookup column using the method given in this article.

  1. January 6, 2010 at 6:09 am
  2. January 7, 2010 at 6:04 am

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