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I would like to get access to the current user first name, so be able to insert into an email.

I have found that

[%Workflow Context:Current User%]

will insert the full name of the logged in user (LAST FIRST MI in my case).

Is there a way to get the first name of the user somehow?

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  1. Select "Add or Change Lookup"
  2. Select "User Profiles" under Data Source
  3. Select "First Name" under Field From Source
  4. Select the default "Field:" option
  5. Press the fX button
  6. Select "Workflow Context" and "Current User"

Hit Ok and you should see something like [%User Profiles:First name%] appear which represents the first name of the current user.

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This is also assuming that Enderland is using SharePoint Server not Foundation. User Profiles may not be available with SharePoint Foundation.

Have you looked into SPD workflow add-ins like SPDActivities (

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Seeing that Enderland asked and answered the question, it can be safely assumed that UPS is available. – teylyn Mar 6 '13 at 8:38

To get the user's name to show in a readable format, select any of the 'User' options either in 'Workflow context' or 'Current List' but change the 'Return field as' to 'Display name' instead of the default 'As string'

For example: Data Source: Current List Field form source: Created By Return Field as: Display Name

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