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List Workflow to Set Title

A SharePoint Online tutorial by Peter Kalmström

SharePoint iconThe SharePoint Search displays title hits on top, so for the search to work well it is important that title columns in lists and libraries are filled out with terms that give relevant information. For many organizations it is a problem that the titles are not accurate, which leads to few or inaccurate search results.

As the title field does not have the same importance in a file system as it has in SharePoint, files that are imported into SharePoint libraries will often lack titles or have irrelevant titles. And when new documents are created in SharePoint,  users often avoid filling out the title for a file, as they are not used to doing it and it is not mandatory.

Another problem with the title field is when a template has a title. New files created from that template will inherit the same title, if it is not changed by the creator, and that will result in many documents with different content but the same title.

In the demo below Peter Kalmström, CEO and Systems Designer of kalmstrom.com Business Solutions, shows how to create a SharePoint workflow that sets the title to the same as the name of the list item or file. The name is hopefully relevant, so this workflow solves the problems with non-existing as well as irrelevant titles.

Peter creates a SharePoint 2013 list workflow, but you can do this workflow with nearly the same steps if you use a SharePoint 2010 workflow instead.

A SharePoint 2013 list workflow that sets the title to the same as the name

  1. Open the site in SharePoint Designer 2013 and select the list or library where you want to use the workflow.
  2. Create a new SharePoint 2013 workflow and give it a name.
  3. At Transition to stage, type 'go' and select 'End of Workflow'.
  4. Select the Condition to 'If any value equals value' and set the Values to Title 'not equals' Name.
  5. Select the Action 'Set Field in Current Item' and set the Field to Title and the Value to Name.
  6. Set the workflow to start automatically when an item is created or changed.
  7. Publish the workflow




The list workflow described here is directly connected to a library. In the next article we will create a similar workflow that is reusable, so that you can use it for many lists and libraries.

In the next demo we also show how you easily can get the workflow to run in a library with existing files that need titles but no other changes.


Learn more



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