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Toby958
Helper I
Helper I

How to parse an image URL into a HTML table and display the image file?

I'm working on solution in Power Automate to send a customised news digest from SharePoint Online. For this I am using a HTML table where the news article title, description, link and thumbnail are added to the table and then sent via email.

 

The solution works fine when populating textual data (strings), such as the article's title and description. However, it does not seem to work when trying to parse in an image URL. As you can see in the screenshot below, I've attempted to use the <img> tag to display the thumbnail, but the HTML table is displaying this as literal raw text.

 

2020-12-03 11_35_09-Window.png

 

Is there a way I can make the HTML table parse the image URL as an image?

 

Thanks!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Paulie78
Super User
Super User

Toby,

 

Here is how to include that image: 

https://youtu.be/EsrV7A-23w4

The expressions I used in the video:

Filepath Expression:

join(skip(split(items('Apply_to_each')['Thumbnail'], '/'), 3), '/')

Content-Type from SharePoint API Call:

outputs('Send_an_HTTP_request_to_SharePoint')?['body']['$content-type']

Content from SharePoint API Call:

outputs('Send_an_HTTP_request_to_SharePoint')?['body']['$content']

 

Produces the thumbnails in the email and no requirement to get the images from SharePoint at the client end when receiving the emails.

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35 REPLIES 35
FreddieV
Resolver I
Resolver I

Does the SP data need to go into an HTML table?

 

If I wanted to compose an email like this, I would design an email within Outlook then use an O365 Outlook card of 'Send email from a shared mailbox' and then just paste in the HTML from the email, and populate any 'dynamic' parts from the various columns in your SP list. For images, I would just declare them as string variables at the start and reference them wherever they need to go within the HTML. I have been doing this at the moment for a project I am working on:

email.png

So where the image is, is actually a referenced variable in the background Flow.

Hi Freddie,

 

I'm not sure I follow as I've never tried anything similar to what you've mentioned. The news digest email I'm trying to configure cycles through several news articles held in SharePoint (anything from the last 7 days), populating the information from each article as a new row in the HTML table. That's the reason I chose to use the table because the email is handling multiple news articles, it could be 1 article or it could be several.

 

I have a variable in place called varThumbnail which is populated with the dynamic part called 'Banner Image URL'. I'm just trying to display the contents of this variable in the HTML table, but it doesn't parse it as an image.

 

Toby958_0-1607001769903.png

 

I hope that makes sense!

 

 

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

It won't show as an image. You cannot use the "Create HTML Table" action for what you are trying to do because it escapes the HTML for you as a feature. This is not to say what you want to do cannot be done. You have to form the table manually which is not difficult to do.

Once you solve the problem above, you will hit another problem 😀

Depending on where the email is going to the URL to the image may not be accessible to the recipient. So in order to get the picture into the email you have to embed the base64 of the image into the email. 

I've got a flow which does all of the above. I am thinking of turning it into a blog post as this question has come up quite a few times.

Hi Paulie,

 

I took a look at trying to get a base64 representation of the image working yesterday but didn't have much luck. I encounter a similar issue where the HTML table just displays the base64 representation as raw text when using the following:

 

<img src=”data&colon;image/jpeg;base64,” alt=”My Image” />

 

 

Toby958_0-1607004004654.png

 

I assume this is just the same issue again with the HTML table ignoring the tag as a feature like you say.

 

Is there a different way around this? I'm at a bit of a lose cause now as I can't find any solutions online that work for this.

 

Hiya,

 

Okay, here's what I mean. In this case, the image I am inserting is a banner and it goes as part of the 'footer' of the email. I upload it to an external site and paste the HTML code into a string variable.

 

initvariable.png

 

Next, I select 'send an email from a shared mailbox', which is an Office 365 Outlook card. You don't have to use this, but any card of Outlook that lets you switch to the code view, by pressing the button shown in the screenshot below will do.

 

email-code-view.png

 

This method pre-supposes that you've designed how you want your email to look within Outlook. Once you go View Source to get the underlying HTML code, just paste it into the card and then add the dynamic fields from SP, and the variable. In mine, this looks as follows:

 

code-example.png

 

Because we're in the code view, and the variable contains HTML, the email will send with an image embedded instead of the actual code as you are getting now.

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

@Toby958 it's easy to do, but hard to explain, I will do a quick video of my flow that does what you want and upload it to YouTube. It won't be polished, but will show you what you are trying to do.

Thanks Paulie, that would be a great help and may help others if they encounter the same dilemma. Please let me know when you get the chance to upload this.

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

@Toby958 been busy all day but I will do something when I get home tonight. So probably in about 6 hours time.

Hi @Paulie78 

 

Sorry to trouble you again, I was wondering whether you had the chance to work on that video last week?

 

Many thanks

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

I actually forgot it was my birthday last Friday 🤣 so people ate up all sorts of time that I expected to have. I actually did work on it and it led me down a rabbit hole of creating all sorts of content related to image fields.

 

But I can do you a really quick and rough one now - you will then discover the same thing I did, getting images to render how you want them in Outlook is far more difficult than it should be!

 

Question - your Image URLs, do they point to SharePoint or some publicly accessible internet location? 

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

Take a look at this video and see how you get on.

https://youtu.be/z32ng9_bCAY

 

Hi @Paulie78 

 

Thanks for the video, greatly appreciate you taking the time to do this, and happy birthday for last week!

 

I followed the same steps as you and understand how it works now, I've managed to have a bit more success this time. To answer your other question, the images are indeed stored in SharePoint as I'm trying to utilise the thumbnail image from news articles published on our intranet. This is represented as the 'Banner Image URL' dynamic content in Flow from what I found.

 

The issue I now face (which I'm sure you had already predicted) is that the images don't render in Outlook desktop or Outlook web. It's parsing the HTML which is great, but I suspect with the images being behind site permissions it's blocking it from being displayed? Alternatively, perhaps our company has a security mechanism which blocks the download/display of images in this way. 

 

If it's any benefit, all our staff have read-only access to the site which this content is being retrieved from.

 

Toby958_0-1607515165538.png

 

Interestingly, when I did an initial test using a blank test site in SharePoint (not our intranet), the first email it sent did seem to display the thumbnail correctly for one article, being just the default thumbnail image that SharePoint provides. Although I'm unsure why this one image worked but not others.

 

Toby958_1-1607515434152.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the behaviour if you go into Outlook and view the email in a browser?
2020-12-09_12-07-46.png

 

I do have a solution for the problem of the image being in SharePoint - let me dig out the details!
(Although I also know that when you solve that problem - you will face, yet another one).

It looks like viewing it through the browser also presents the same issue unfortunately:

 

Toby958_0-1607520224227.png

 

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

I was going to do you another short video which showed you exactly how to nail your problem. Using news articles, but when I create news articles my thumbnail properties don't get populated. Did you do anything special to yours?

I don't believe I'm doing anything special, it should be near enough identical to the Flow you showed in your video.

 

When I first attempted this last week I did notice that the "Thumbnail" dynamic content (highlighted in screenshot below) doesn't seem to offer much use. Instead of returning a URL like it says, it would just return a rather useless string output.

 

Toby958_0-1607524090492.png

 

That's where I found that the "Banner Image URL" dynamic content seems to retrieve the actual thumbnail image for the news article. Using this does return a valid URL for the image.

 

Toby958_1-1607524262390.png

 

I don't know if this is the same issue you've come across? Other than this dynamic content the rest of my Flow matches what was done in your video.

 

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

That's exactly what I meant - thanks.

Paulie78
Super User
Super User

Toby,

 

Here is how to include that image: 

https://youtu.be/EsrV7A-23w4

The expressions I used in the video:

Filepath Expression:

join(skip(split(items('Apply_to_each')['Thumbnail'], '/'), 3), '/')

Content-Type from SharePoint API Call:

outputs('Send_an_HTTP_request_to_SharePoint')?['body']['$content-type']

Content from SharePoint API Call:

outputs('Send_an_HTTP_request_to_SharePoint')?['body']['$content']

 

Produces the thumbnails in the email and no requirement to get the images from SharePoint at the client end when receiving the emails.

Hi @Paulie78 

 

Thanks again for the video. I've been trying to mimic your method now but have stumbled across a couple of hurdles if you don't mind me asking about these. Only very minor things.

 

1. In the 'Parse JSON' action I'm prompted to enter a schema. Unfortunately I'm not very experienced with this type of thing, I was wondering what needs to be input into the schema?

 

2. In the 'Append to string variable' action where you input the base64 img tag, I can't seem to find how you pull in the dynamic content to look like it does in yours?

 

Toby958_0-1607681189077.png

 

For example, I can select 'body' but I'm uncertain how you got the $content... part on the end of it. I'm sure it's probably something very simple and just my lack of experience showing!

 

Toby958_1-1607681390282.png

 

Many thanks

 

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