The situation is as follows:

I have a library of documents. Each document has a metadata column representing the status of this document with possible choices derived from a look-up column in another list.

What I would like to happen:

When a user (any user with privileges) changes the status of a document to "Completed" I would like the "Complete Editing Date" field to be set to today's date and time.

I have created a List Workflow associated with my document library in SharePoint Designer 2010 that I thought would do what I want. The workflow runs whenever the document metadata is edited.

Please see the image:

enter image description here

What actually happens:

When anyone sets a document Status field to "Complete" the workflow runs but the "Complete Editing Date" fails to update. I can see the workflow has run by selecting the document and clicking the Workflows button in the Document Tab of the Ribbon.

Other Info:

My research led me to a similar question that doesn't quite answer my problem. Although I did try inserting a short pause, as suggested, between the conditional check and the update/change field action the workflow still won't update the required field. The workflow saves fine without errors and it has been published.


I think this has something to do with the fact that the field I'm looking at in the condition is a Look Up column. The value "Completed" is one I've typed in manually. I know there's much I don't understand about SharePoint and it's data types. I have the option to set this value using a Lookup (by clicking the "fx" (function) button that appears next to the value, but I have to say that I find the whole "Lookup for Lookup" dialog process to very confusing at times.

Is there some critical information I'm missing or do I just have to brave the Lookup for Lookup dialog area?

Ask if you need anything clarified.

Thanks so much.

p.s. I should add: I've now been exploring/developing with SharePoint 2010 for approximately 3 weeks, and only started into workflows these last few days. Please be gentle :)

  • I am having a similar issue, but mine is a Task List. I have a Status field with Completed as an option and a date fieled named Completed. My workflow is: If Status = Completed Update DAte Completed field The problem is that it works the majority of the time, but there are about 15 task that either the workflow ran and didn't update the Completed date field or it didn't run at all. Why would it work some times and not others? Thanks for any feedback, I appreciate it. Kim
    – kim
    Apr 19, 2013 at 16:15

3 Answers 3


It looks like your quotes " " around Completed are the problem, but see below.

I just duplicated this scenario on our Foundation server and I got the result you were looking for, except the time is 12:00AM *(I'll explain this later).

I created a list called "Status" and in it I added two items under Title: "Open" and "Completed".

I created a document library called "Completed Test". I then created a lookup column in the library called "Status", chose the Status list and checked off Title as the lookup. When I uploaded a file to the library I had the option of leaving it blank, Open, or Completed. I also created a Date/Time field called "Complete Editing Date".

I then created my SharePoint Workflow called Completed Test and set it to fire off whenever a document is changed. In order to thoroughly check what is going on I created a local variable date variable "Date Check" and logged the events to history. Here's my workflow in question:Workflow

Here's what the Log is doing: Log file

When looking at the workflow history I see that both events are being set correctly: enter image description here

I suggest you write the events to the history list like I have done to try to see what is happening.

*There's no way that I know to set the current date and time to a field in a workflow only the date, in this instance I suggest rather than setting "Complete Editing Date" to Date Modified. It's not perfect because presumably someone could modify the document a split second after Completed is chosen and before the date is set.

  • Thank you so much. The simple removal of the quotes around Completed immediately brought me the result I wanted.
    – adnauseam
    Feb 8, 2013 at 20:31

Another solution to update a date/time field with the current date and time is as to set the date/time field to the date & time this instance of the workflow was started (Workflow Context:Date and Time Started):

In the Update list item action, add the date/time field you want to updated. Click the fx button, then select Workflow Context from the Data source drop-down, and Date and Time Started from the Field from source drop-down.

Set current date/time using Workflow Context


if current item:xyz equals 123

update item in this list


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