Workflow to Update Hyperlink Display Text


I wanted to use Quick Edit to update the URL column for a bunch of items in a list. The problem is that when you edit a hyperlink column, you have to click the little hyperlink editor icon next to the cell to also edit the display text. Otherwise, it just shows up as the URL.


Use a workflow to change the display text to something else.

1. First, create a new text column or use an existing text column
2. Open SharePoint Designer
3. Create a new List Workflow
4. Add Update List Item action
5. Click “Add…”

6. Scroll through and find your new column. In this example I used the existing Description column.

7. Click “…” to open the String Builder

8. Click “Add or Change Lookup”
9. Select the hyperlink column
10. Change “Return field as:” to URL

11. Click “OK”
12. IMPORTANT: Add a comma and a space.
13. Click “Add or Change Lookup” again to select a column, or type out what you want your display text to be. I am setting mine to be the Title of the item.
14. Click “OK” > “OK” > “OK”
15. Add another Update List Item action
16. Click “Add…”
17. Set the hyperlink column to the value of the column we updated in the previous step

18. Click “OK” > “OK”
19. Change the Start Options to “Start workflow automatically when an item is changed”
20. Publish

Now you can Quick Edit a bunch of URLs without having to manually change the display text.

Workflow Stuck On Starting After Password Change

I generally use my own account to create and publish workflows. One day, none of my workflows were completing and they were all stuck on “starting”. I thought maybe there was something wrong with the workflows themselves so I tweaked one of them a bit and re-published and voila! It worked! But the thing I tweaked really shouldn’t have “fixed” anything. So I changed it back and again, it worked!

After banging my head against my desk for a little while I remembered updating my password that morning. Maybe all I needed to do was republish my workflows.

Which is what I did and it fixed everything.

There may have been an easier solution, but this worked for me.


If you’re going to use your own account to create and publish workflows, you might have to re-publish every time you change your password.

You should probably use an admin account without a password policy to publish workflows.


Start Workflow on Inbound Email

By default, workflows will not auto start for attachments sent to a library via email.

To enable this functionality, run the following PowerShell script on your SharePoint server.

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

$spWebService = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPWebService]::ContentService
$spWebService.DeclarativeWorkflowAutoStartOnEmailEnabled = $true

Next, make sure your workflow is configured to start automatically when an item is created.