Users with Commas in their DisplayName Cannot be Found by Gantt Charts and Datasheet Views

This issue first appears with the SharePoint 2010 Project Task List (in the Gantt(V4) view). When adding a user, either by using the People Picker or typing the Display Name in to the Assigned To field, the Gantt chart will report that the ‘user does not exist or is not unique’ upon synchronization of the row.


This is expanded in SharePoint 2013 where all datasheet views that used the ActiveX control in SharePoint 2010 are now AJAX/JavaScript-enabled.

Microsoft has indicated that they’re aware of this bug but it is a “won’t fix” issue as it has a significant impact to the code base. Their workarounds are as follows:

1) Change the display name for users in Active Directory from “LastName, FirstName” to “FirstName LastName” to eliminate the comma.

2) Use the user’s alias instead of DisplayName when entering it into the row. The Gantt chart will accept the value in this case, however this precludes use of the People Picker.

3) Where applicable, use the “New Item” option in the ribbon.

Trevor Seward is a Microsoft Office Apps and Services MVP who specializes in SharePoint Server administration, hybrid scenarios, and SharePoint Online. He has been working with SharePoint for 16 years from SharePoint 2003 on up, managing environments with terabytes of content for 150,000+ user organizations. Trevor is an author of Deploying SharePoint 2016 and Deploying SharePoint 2019. You can find him on Twitter and in /r/sharepoint.