In the SharePoint designer, when I create a new reusable workflow (SP 2013), the "Association Columns" button is greyed out. Which is a shame, because I need to add a couple of them :) enter image description here

Does anybody have a clue as to why this is happening?

Edit: This is only happening with 2013 workflows. With 2010 workflows, the button is enabled as expected and works:

enter image description here

When hovering the mouse on the greyed out button, it says: This option is unavailable for site workflows. Now I have created both (SP2013) reusable and list workflows but they both give the same message.

Even answers on how you would approach the issue are appreciated. The "lack" of this feature is troubling and I can't find anything whatsoever on Google!

2 Answers 2


just like to note:

The following features are deprecated in SharePoint Designer 2013 or have been removed.

SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform Description of the change. Some features of the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform that are dependent on Windows Workflow Foundation 3.0 are deprecated in SharePoint 2013.

Reason for the change.SharePoint 2013 introduces a new SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform that is built upon Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 and that is integrated with Workflow Manager 1.0.

Migration path. In SharePoint Designer 2013, you can still create a SharePoint 2010 Workflow and use all of the SharePoint 2010 Workflow features by choosing the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform.

The following features are available only on the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform:


◦Stop Workflow

◦Capture a Version of the Document Set

◦Send Document Set to Repository

◦Set Content Approval Status for the Document Set

◦Start Document Set Approval Process

◦Declare Record

◦Set Content Approval Status

◦Undeclare Record

◦Add List Item

◦Inherit List Item Parent Permissions

◦Remove List Item Permissions

◦Replace List Item Permissions

◦Lookup Manager of a User

◦Assign a Form to a Group

◦Assign a To-Do Item

◦Collect Data from a User

◦Start Approval Process

◦Start Custom Task Process

◦Start Feedback Process

◦Copy List Item (SharePoint Designer 2013 supports only the document-copying action.)


◦If current item field equals value

◦Check list item permission levels

◦Check list item permissions


◦Impersonation Step:

•Data sources:

◦User Profile lookup

•Other features:

◦Visio integration

Association Column

Content Type Association for reusable workflow

◦'Require Manage List/Web Permission' feature for list/site workflow

◦Globally reusable workflow type

◦Workflow visualization option


meaning that its not possible for 2013 and only for 2010!

you need to do the following to get it working:

You can also integrate features from the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform into the new SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform. To do this, create a SharePoint 2010 Workflow by choosing the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform; create a SharePoint 2013 Workflow by choosing the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform; and then use the Start a list workflow and Start a site workflow actions in the SharePoint 2013 Workflow to call the SharePoint 2010 Workflow.

  • 1
    the Lord taketh and the Lord taketh away...
    – Aaronster
    Jul 8, 2014 at 14:44

I found another way to use a reusable workflow and still link it to a content type. I found an article on technet that says it's possible.

Instead of going to the workflow menu and click there on reusable workflow, go in the upper corner to file and click on reusable workflow right there.

You will see a menu to the right, where you can select your content type while still working with a SP 2013 workflow. You can see it at the screenshot below (excuses for the dutch screenshot)

reusable workflow linked to content type


  • Removed the question part of this answer, since this section is for answers only May 12, 2016 at 13:20

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