Create a SharePoint Designer 2013 reusable workflow

Learn how you can create a reusable workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013.

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A reusable workflow is a workflow that is not bound to one particular SharePoint list or library, but that you can associate with one or more SharePoint lists or libraries. There is where the workflow gets its name Reusable from.

You can use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create list workflows, reusable workflows, and site workflows.

Here, you will use SharePoint Designer 2013 to create a reusable workflow that can be used to write the URL of the list item or document on which the workflow is started, to the workflow history list.

To create a reusable workflow in SharePoint Designer 2013

  1. In SharePoint Designer 2013, open the site on which you want to create a reusable workflow.
  2. Click Site > New > Reusable Workflow.
  3. On the Create Reusable Workflow dialog box, type ReusableWF in the Name text box, select SharePoint 2013 Workflow from the Platform Type drop-down list box, and click OK. This should open the workflow text-based designer with one stage (Stage 1) already added to the workflow.
  4. Place the cursor inside of Stage 1, type log, and press Enter to add a Log to History List action.
  5. Click message in the sentence for the workflow action, and then click the formula button (second button) behind the text box that appears.
  6. On the Lookup for String dialog box, select Current Item from the Data source drop-down list box, select Encoded Absolute URL from the Field from source drop-down list box, and click OK. The final sentence for the workflow action should say:

    Log Current Item:Encoded Absolute URL to the workflow history list
  7. Place the cursor in the Transition to stage section of Stage 1, and click Workflow > Insert > Action > Go to a stage.
  8. Click a stage in the sentence for the workflow action, and then select End of Workflow from the drop-down list box that appears.
  9. Click Workflow > Save > Publish to publish the workflow.
  10. In SharePoint 2013, attach the workflow to a list or library.

You should now be able to start the workflow on a list item or on a document in SharePoint 2013. Once the workflow has run and completed, go to the history list and verify that the URL of the list item or document was written as a comment in the history list for the workflow.

Still unclear? Watch the SharePoint 2013 video below.

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