I'm working on a project with other team members that are far less familiar with SharePoint than myself. We want to have a Word document that will serve as a template for email notifications in a workflow. So the workflow would have to read the document and copy its information into the email's body (We are not trying to send the document as an attachment). On top of that we want the ability to customize some of the information in this Word document depending on a particular list item. So basically instead of using SharePoint's string builder we would use a Word document with lookups in it.

Is this even feasible? We trying to do this to make it easy for my other team members to be able to modify the template without messing with SharePoint. I know we can have documents and I attach them to emails but I don't know if SharePoint can read them during the workflow.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thank you!


1 Answer 1


This particular scenario won't be possible directly unless you build your workflow in Visual Designer and then create that functionality.

I can however think of another method - not quite as user friendly, but may be a half way step.

Create a list and and one of the columns should be the multi-line type. In this column you can save your HTML template for the email. You need to include the tokens as well (i.e. [%SPD token%]). If you open an existing workflow email template you can see what the tokens look like.

In your workflow do a look-up for this list and save the contents of the column to a variable. In the email action for body import the variable.

When using word the HTML it creates is not very pretty. It will also need to be run thru a conversion tool to convert the page to a single string and trim white space from the end of the HTML.

The above is all theory - I'm not able to validate it at the moment, but I believe its should work. I probably wouldn't let an end user update the templates in this fashion but instead create a method for them to submit the templates so they can be added properly.

  • Thanks for the input! I had a feeling that there was no simple way to accomplish this. Thank you! Mar 17, 2015 at 14:25

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