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kkam99504
Frequent Visitor

Populate A Word Template - Filling Default Prompt of Content Control - Leaving Uneditable

Hi,

  I have watched and followed several YouTube and Blog instructional posts on using the "Populate a Word Template" connector in  a Power Automate Flow.

 

  I have successfully produced a document with the correct data from a SharePoint list item.

 

  However, the created document will not allow the user to further edit the text in any fields without all of it disappearing.

 

  It took a bit for me to stumble upon the fact that if I went into Design Mode I could edit the text but not otherwise.

 

  The connector appears to be replacing the "Click Here to Enter Text" default prompt of the Content Control instead of actually in the control itself.

 

  In the final document that means users cannot edit any of the text without removing all of the SharePoint information.

 

  You can manually replicate this behavior in any Word document by:

  • Go to Developer tab, turn on Design Mode
  • Place two Text Content Controls on the page
  • In the first, while still in Design Mode, type text into it
  • Turn off Design Mode and type text into the second.

  The second field, where you entered text into the control you can click into the field at any time, get a cursor, and continue editing the text (what I expect/want).

kkam99504_0-1679588243449.png

 

  However, when you try to click in the first field all text will be highlighted, you cannot get a cursor, and if you attempt to type all existing text disappears (what I am getting).

kkam99504_1-1679588389753.png

 

  That is exactly what I end up with for all fields in my form that are filled using the "Populate A Microsoft Word Template" Premium connector.

 

  Is there something I'm missing or is this "Premium" connector just garbage?

  

 

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

@kkam99504 

There are several limitations in the Populate Word connector, one of which is the template structure / fixed target components.

Encodian's Populate Word Document action (free for 50 actions per month) provides a flexible Word population engine which would solve your issue above. It also allows you to populate documents over 10MB in size (useful if working with images), populate rich text/HTML, insert repeating sections/lists/tables and much more.

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7 REPLIES 7

@kkam99504 

There are several limitations in the Populate Word connector, one of which is the template structure / fixed target components.

Encodian's Populate Word Document action (free for 50 actions per month) provides a flexible Word population engine which would solve your issue above. It also allows you to populate documents over 10MB in size (useful if working with images), populate rich text/HTML, insert repeating sections/lists/tables and much more.

kkam99504
Frequent Visitor

Use of 3rd party connectors requires a long approval process in my agency.

 

Is there no out-of-the-box way to produce a clean Word doc/data merge that results in an editable document?

Kkam - Did you ever get anywhere with this? I am having a similar issue when using MS Forms to populate a Word document the text is not editable. 

Unfortunately no.  Maybe Microsoft is purposely trying to create a market for 3rd party companies.  That's the only thing I can think of for why their out of the box won't work with their own technologies.

 

I am trying to get approval for Encodian's solution.  I was able to get a trial license on their website and did a proof of concept.  It was easy to work with and did everything I needed.

I have found if I use the convert file (preview) to PDF and then manually convert it back to word it gives me what I need. I dont suppose theres a way without the 3rd party connector to convert it through powerautomate back to Word to see if that work?

As simple as it sounds when you set up the content control do you leave it as "Click or tap here to enter text"? I have found if I type over this in the master template and put text into the box it allows me to edit when it has populated through powerautomate. The top text on this table I have typed in HASWA and the bottom one I have left. When it populates through powerautomate the ones I have type over allow me to edit. Dont know the logic but it appears to work!

clarkyb_0-1684953646563.png

 

Thanks for the suggestions.  No, I have not tried those methods. 

 

At this point I don't intend to backtrack to try to make Microsoft's limited connector work.  Encodian's solution supports Rich Text, Images, etc and is so simple to use that the benefits it offers makes it worth the slog through our agencies internal approval process.

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