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Advocate I
Advocate I

Update Word document properties not reflected in document Properties

Hello there,

I am having the strangest of issues with two of my flows !
[TL;DR] : 

My issue :

It is a really random issue :

When an approval flow sends an email to the approbator, the "Link to item" opens Word and displays an error regarding metadatas : "Required properties : to save on the server, correct the required propertises that are unvalid or missing", and when clicking on "Edit properties", it displays the column "DocumentType"/Type_de_documents to be empty.


Except, before having the approval flow started by the user, we have a flow that fills out the properties of said documents. And at least, the property "DocumentType"/"Type_de_documents" has a default value set which is "Non classé" and is absolutely not mandatory so it should not trigger any Poperty issue.

This error comes back only for 2 specific types of documents = 2 different choices of that dropdown.
The problem does not come from any special characters.
Below you'll find the break down of the flows.

I have 2 flows :
Flow 1

is a recurring/Scheduled flow that fills metadata depending on the title of a document and an excel file.
It goes
"schedule"> Quality scope >Get files (properties only) with a condition on "DocumentType" column is set to its default value "Unclassified"/"Non classé" in French > For each file > Get the row in the Excel table >Update file properties



Flow 2

is a manually triggered flow on a specific library, to get approvals for said document.
It goes "For selected file" > Initialize var and for each 11 are not relevant in this case > Get file properties >Update file properties 5 : set "ApprovalStatus" column to "Pending approval" >Start & wait for approval with "Link to item" set to "Update file properties 5"'s file path. 
If the answer for the approval is Approved, there is a Update file properties action (set "ApprovalStatus" to "Approved")


On the approval maill, when clicking on the "See this doc" link, Word opens to that error I described above.

The files & columns

are docx files, and they are created by users choosing templates in the "New" menu. They are attached to the "Document" Content Type.
The columns are set Site-wide and reused in several libraries and they were used when creating the word Templates :

  • "DocumentType"  is a dropdown choice with a default value set to "Unclassified".
    This is not a required/mandatory column. No unique values enforced either.
    Choices are (but in French with accent 🙂 ) : Recordings, Operation, Procedure, Instructions, Unclassified
  • "ApprovalStatus"  is a dropdown choice with a default value set to "Draft", and is not required, and no unique values enforced
    Choices are : "Approved","Rejected","Draft","Pending Approval", "Pending Checking"

I have checked all the outputs of the actions happening before the approval, and strangely, everything is set just fine.

So I do not understand why I'm still getting that frustrating error. Even if user changes manually the property, it does not work.
If user sets the property manually, without calling the first flow, everything works fine. But I do not understand why my first flow would be the culprit on only two types of documents.

COuld you help me figure it out please ? 
Thanks a lot !

Super User
Super User

First, Thank You for typing most of your issue in text. The screenshots are not translated from your outrageous French accent, and I can't read them, but I can tell most of the issue from what you wrote in text.


The first thing I think about is the problem with Document properties being updated that do not appear in the browser view of the document. So if you create a Word document with power automate template and populate the properties. Then after the document is created you manually go click on the file and it opens in the browser, the property fields will appear blank. However, the properties are not blank if you open the document to edit in the Word desktop app. After opening in the desktop app and closing, the fields will be populated in the browser view as expected.

Similarly if you Create Document from Template and then try to put the document in email, you need to Get the document you just created. You can't use the outputs of the Create Document in an email.


Long story long go Get Document Properties again, after the Update File Properties 5. Then use the Get File Properties in the approvals.


You have:

  • Get File Properties
  • Update File Properties
  • Start Approval

Try to test this:

  • Get File Properties
  • Update File Properties
  • Get File Properties 2
  • Start Approval using Update File Properties 2


The second thing I would try is to troubleshoot the connector actions by deleting and refreshing them. I would also go to the Site Wide Content Type and refresh them as well. Here is an issue I had a couple of weeks ago that was solved by refreshing the Content Type columns. Update File Properties - Blank Fields Overwrite Previous Values

I refreshed the Content Type columns by basically editing them but not making any changes then saving. Then I deleted and recreated the actions after that column refresh. 


Hopefully this helps

Thanks a lot for your explanations @wskinnermctc !
We just tried by recreating the columns, and it did nothing.
Regarding your explanations it is expected particularly if the problem comes from Word not populating it.
You got me "hoped" up on that solution, so I'll try and see if this is it. Thanks a lot for your food for thoughts and possible solution, I'll get back to you today !

Hello @wskinnermctc :
We tried to add a Get File properties between the Update files properties and the Start and wait for approval.
UNfortunately, it did nothing. We tried to recreate new columns mimicking the "old" ones but it did nothing either.
We will now try to recreate the actions, and please, cross your fingers for us 🙂

Super User
Super User

Are these documents using templates to be created? I would delete and replace any templates as well.


To investigate the problem:

I would use "Send an HTTP to SharePoint" in a flow to look at the details of the document.


You will need to use multiple HTTP requests to look at the properties of the document as a List Item and look at the properties of the document as a File. See SharePoint Rest List Specific Item examples.


In SharePoint a Document Library is just a special type of List. So each document is a List Item and each List Item has a File. (A regular SharePoint List Items do not have File.) So you should look at the properties of both item and file.


Run the HTTP requests on the document before Flow1, before Flow2, and after Flow2.


See if you can see a change in the property or field DocumentType. Just like I did in this problem, I ran an HTTP request to look at the background data and recognized the problem. 


Example HTTP Requests Below:

Here is an example file in my Document Library. The file list item ID is 588.

Document Library List Title: "Documents"

Document/File ID: 588

Documents - File Item ID 588Documents - File Item ID 588


Here are multiple HTTP Requests to run on the file.

HTTP Requests have Different OutputsHTTP Requests have Different Outputs


Each HTTP Request uses the Headers to determine how much data is returned:

  • Accept application/json;odata=verbose
  • Accept application/json;odata=nometadata

Verbose is all data which is good to see what is available. Nometadata will trim some of the extra options off.


The GET Uri for item:


The GET Uri for item properties:


The GET Uri for the item fieldvaluesforedit:


The GET Uri for the file:


The GET Uri for the file properties



Here is a screenshot of each of the HTTP Requests:

Item - HTTP RequestItem - HTTP RequestItem Properties - HTTP RequestItem Properties - HTTP RequestItem Field Values for Edit - HTTP RequestItem Field Values for Edit - HTTP RequestFile - HTTP RequestFile - HTTP Request

File Properties - HTTP RequestFile Properties - HTTP Request


I would use these HTTP requests to look at the document before, during, and after the flows. Then check the outputs to see if you recognize any differences or issues with the properties. You want to focus on the specific field/property DocumentType.


I'm sorry I don't have the answer to your problem, but I think viewing HTTP requests as the document goes through different phases would give insight to the problem.

It is probably something silly like a blank value or property name and choices not corresponding. 

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