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Concepts for sharepoint, flow, and word documents - any help at all would be appreciated

Occasional Contributor

Greetings:

 

I am rather new to Sharepoint and Flow. I am having a difficult time with some of the concepts and getting it to all work right. 

 

I am trying to create a flow or in any way assist in automating or even just making easier a rather routine task. I'll avoid as many of the additional complexities as I think I can. 

 

There are clients that need one of 8 different forms to be modified depending on the circumstances. The specific form that applies is always based on a column in a Sharepoint list. Most of these forms are identical in most respects (basically the heading changes slightly on for each but all has the same structure), but the content is quite different.

 

The process sought is:

  1. A PDF comes in, a human analyzes it (this part is a necessity)
  2. Human creates a new list item filling in columns
  3. Depending on one of those columns a new word document, which contains a form, is created (and hopefully put in a specific new folder named based on a column).
  4. The word document template comes already populated with information from the sharepoint list items (quickparts>document property).

A big issue is that I need multiple form templates with the specific template being called based on the new entry. Is this even possible? Is dotx templates needed?

 

Just getting a word document to be able to receive the quickparts>document property isn't something that I am all that comfortable understanding. It doesn't always seem to be available when I fiddle around with a new word document. Sometimes it is, but sometimes it is not.

 

If a user has to open the word document that's fine since it has to be proofed anyway. It would be ideal for it to already be populated with the information from the list.

 

Some other questions that if someone could answer would be great:

 

Document content type in sharepoint is a particular struggle for me to understand its purpose. Similarly, the "form templates" folder is a complete mystery to me that I cannot find any documentation on what the auto created document library is for, if it is different in any way from a document library created. Also, should I have boatloads of document libraries each with their own content type or multiple content types? Can I have multiple word document document types within one folder?

 

Is attaching a document to a list always bad?

 

Seriously, any help is much appreciated!

 

3 Replies

I hope someone answers this, I will be following as I am struggling with the same questions.

best response confirmed by Jonathan Baner (Occasional Contributor)
Solution
What is the reasoning behind using Word as your form tool?
My assumption is that you want to record specific information in answer fields for certain questions. Why not simply use a SharePoint list for that. The collumns headers your questions, the column fields can contain your answers. And you can modify the form using PowerApps forms if the out of the box forms do not meet your needs. PowerApps and Flow interact great with each other. Using the content inside of a Word-file in Flow is much harder than it is to use the content of a SharePoint-list column.
Regarding content types: the easiest way to understand this is that it is a set of columns grouped together to store specific metadata for certain documents or to function as something like an entity in for example a SQL database.
You can add multiple content types to the same library. It all depends on you scenario if that is the right way to go (sorry - consultant answer). If all your content types are part of the same process, the permissions for the documents made with these content types are the same and you do not expect to have hundreds of thousand documents made putting them in the same library is the way to go. Otherwise splitting it up in multiple libraries might be wise.
 
 
The form templates library is part of SharePoint for a long time now. A little bit about what it is used for you can find in this article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Set-a-custom-template-for-a-SharePoint-library-8E0177EB-46B...
 form library.png
 

Well thank you very much for the response.

 

This goes in Word because it then gets sent out into the world as product. Depending on the circumstance any form generated documents will need none to extensive (dozens of hours) editing. A sharepoint list would be good for internal purposes of tracking some of the key bits, but the send-into-the-world version needs to be a document.

 

Overall what I ended up doing was create site level columns and (I think) content types. Then document libraries that drag in the site level columns. The template must be in .dotx for the custom columns to be part of quickparts. At that point it all works pretty gravy.

 

Thank you for the link re: forms.