Level: 200

Special characters in item names

Image of special danish characters

This article will address the following issue when creating item.
Lets assume that your solution has some sort of document item. In that document item you have a Title field and a Navigation Title field. In the standard values of these field you have set $name, so that when a new item is created the name of the item is inserted into the Title and Navigation Title fields.
The problem is that there is limitations on item names. So if the editor wants a title that uses non english letters or an ambersand, the editor will have to edit the Title and Navigation Title field after the item has been created.

Written by: Jimmi Lyhne Andersen
Fri, Jun 26 2009

 So what we accomplish in this article is that users can use the title of the item when creating it, the correct title is then inserted into the Title and Navigation Title fields, and afterwards our code changes the item name into a legal name.

There is three steps in this solution:

  1. Making a ItemEventHandler class
  2. Inserting the new class in the web.config
  3. Allowing the characters in the web.config

Make the new class

First we need to create a new class to handle the renaming of the item when it is created.
In this class we create the following method:
protected void OnItemAdded(object sender, EventArgs args)
  if (args != null)
	Item item = Event.ExtractParameter(args, 0) as Item;
	if (item == null)

	string name = item.Name;

	name = name.Replace("&", "And");

	name = MakeCamelCase(name);

	item.Name = name;

As you can see this code replaces replaces spaces in the name, so the name is camel cased. It also replaces ambersands with the word and.


Inserting the new class in the web.config

In the web.config file insert the following line in the item:added event under configuration/sitecore/events

<handler type="[Namespace].[Class], [Name of dll]" method="OnItemAdded"/>

Now our code will be called every time a new item is created.


Allowing the characters in the web.config

Sitecore will not allow us to use ampersands in item names and will instead give an error. Therefore we have to change the regular expression in the ItemNameValidation setting to allow the use of ampersands in item names. This is done like this:

<setting name="ItemNameValidation" value="^[\w\*\$&][\w\s\-\$&]*$"/>

So now Sitecore allows us to create items with ampersands in their names.



After these three steps the editors will be able to use the titles like ”Lyhne & Son” when creating an item. This text will be inserted into the Title and Navigation Title fields and the name of the item will be LyhneAndSon.

That is all for now. Happy coding.


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  • Picture of Jimmi Lyhne Andersen

    About the author:

    Jimmi Lyhne Andersen

    Jimmi Lyhne Andersen is the co-founder of LearnSitecore, and is a partner at Inmento Solutions.
    Jimmi has been lead developer and architect on several large public websites with 200+ editors, and is therefore focused on usability and accessibility.
    Jimmi is a certified Sitecore developer and a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD).
    He has a bachelors degree in Computer Science and in Mathematics from the University of Copenhagen.


2 responses to "Special characters in item names"

hi. What if I need to put a space in an item's name ? Just modify the reg ex and that's it ?
Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 12:40 PM
This works when creating new items, but wouldn't users then be able to rename items to include ampersands?
Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 5:11 PM

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