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I have looked around on Google, and I have found tutorials on how to initiate a workflow from a custom action in the ribbon, but I have run into a problem. I am not sure why (I assume I have a setting wrong that isn't mentioned in the tutorials) but the drop-down under 'Initiate Workflow' in the Custom Action creation dialog contains no workflows at all. I have tried creating test workflows of both site and reusable types. I have several existing workflows that are associated with this list, and I have tried creating test list-associated workflows as well. Does anyone know why I wouldn't be able to see my workflows here?

EDIT: I have no idea what the problem was, but I used the URL location of the initiation form, and now the 'Initiate Workflow' drop-down shows my workflows. Guess it fixed itself...

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Are your worflows associated with the list or just with the content types in the list. This could be a possible reason why you don't see any workflows. – Stefan Bauer Oct 4 '14 at 21:14

Under the list ribbon

New Quick Step

  • Launch Application
  • start an existing workflow
  • add label and image
  • press Okay

This should now add a button to your Item ribbon

Activation requires selection of a List Item first

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