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Advocate III
Advocate III

Get file content irrelevant of file type/file extension


Is it possible to get a file content (stored as a pdf, jpg, png or doc in a folder in SharePoint online) irrelevant of it's file extension?

I have a flow trigger when a new item is created in a SharePoint online list. It will hopefully pull through a guide file and attach it to an email. It works when getting file contents using the file path if it's just one file extension type e.g. when it's told to fetch /SharePointFolderpath/Guide_[guideID].pdf where [guideID] is a Dynamic content field in the initial SharePoint list item submission that triggered the flow. This opens fine in the email generated by the flow. The trouble is not all the guides are same format e.g. guide1.pdf, guide2.jpg, guide3.png, guide4.doc etc. - it fails when the file type is different - it still attaches a placeholder file but this fails to open because of the file extension conflict.

Any help appreciated, thanks.

Community Champion
Community Champion


I believe you can get also [guideID.ext] as the dynamic content field in the initial trigger

So in my Dynamic content menu I can see 'Filename' and 'Filename with extension', please note I have it in Spanish


Hope this helps

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Hi @efialttes, thanks for your reply. Sorry I don't think I explained my use case well, as my 'when a new item is created' trigger does not know the full file name with extension so I'm not sure how to recreate your screenshot. Let me try and explain a different way:

  1. An IT administrator is working through access requests they receive. When they have finished setting up a user, they log the access creation in a SharePoint list - by creating a new item where one of the columns is application name, another column is user's email address.
  2. This sets off the flow - the flow looks in a SharePoint online documents folder (completely separate to the SharePoint list) for the appropriate guide. In this folder, all the files have the same naming convention - 'Guide_' followed by the application name, but they have a mix of file extensions. There is only one file for each extension.
  3. How do I make it grab the file in that folder with the matching application name, irrelevant/agnostic of it's extension? So that it's able to successfully display as an email attachment. I have been able to do this with the 'Gets file contents using the file path' action if I say the file is /SharePointfolder/Guide_[AppName].pdf (and Infer Content Type: Yes) but not sure how to change out the 'pdf' to make it work with jpgs, pngs and docs as well.


Community Champion
Community Champion



So I guess before 'Get file content using path' you need a intermediate step, 'Get files (properties only)' and filter all the possible results by verifying the filename that contains AppName string.

Three options to filter:

a) add an ODATA filter as 'Filter query' input on your 'Get files (properties only) or,

b) add a 'Filter array' action block just after 'GEt files' assign 'Get files' output as its input, and add the corresponding condition rule, or

c) add an Apply to Each, assign 'Get files' output as its input, and add a Condition action block inside it


c) is the easiest way, also the slowest one in case you have tons of files

Not with my laptop, please take a try, if you do not find the way to fix it I will implement a test flow tonight



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Thanks @efialttes! I'm looking for the fastest of the 3 options, which one would that be?


I've attempted option a):

  1. I've added a title to every file with the same naming convention as the file name, just not including the extension. So all file titles are 'Guide_[AppName]'.
  2. I've added a 'Get files (properties only)', directing it to the correct folder and adding in the Filter Query 'Title eq 'Guide_[AppName]' with a Top Count of 1 since there is only one file for each application.
  3. I've added the 'Get file content using path' - with the same folder path as above followed by 'File name with extension' from 'Get file (properties only)' as the dynamic content for the file name
  4. I test the flow with only those changes - it works!
  5. I try to add the file as an attachment - the 'Get file content using path' action and it's outputs does not come up as an option....

Not sure what to do now. Thanks for all you help.

Community Champion
Community Champion


In my opinion c) is the easiest to implement, but its performance is not very good if you have tons of files.

REgarding your attempt to implement option a), can you share a screenshot from your current flow design?


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Hi @efialttes, I've just worked out why - the 'Get file content using path' action and it's outputs does not come up as an option if I create the email outside the automatically-created 'Apply to each' container around the 'Get file content using path', but it does appear inside:



The trouble is, my flow will get quite complex after this part - it's really not ideal to have it all inside the container, especially when I don't think I need the container - as you'll have seen in the first screenshot I've told it to only collect 1 file ('Top Count: 1') so I really don't need an 'Apply to each' control and it didn't make me have it when I got it working with just one file extension type.. I want to get rid of the container but it won't let me:


Not sure what to try next... thanks for all your help.

Community Champion
Community Champion


As I can see you have implemented a mix between approach a) and approach c), so the performance will not be affected.

Please also note since Top Count is set to 1, 'Apply to each' will be executed once, so you can keep 'Send an email' inside... a single email will be sent

Anyway if you need to get rid of the 'Apply to each', you shall take info account 'get files' output is an array with a single element, so all you need to do is to use an expression based on first() function to read it.

Not with my laptop, give me a couple of hours to share exact expression

Hope this makes sense

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Hi @efialttes, thanks for your reply. I didn't mean to implement a mixed approach, but glad to know the performance won't be affected. I'm still quite keen to see your exact expression based on the first() function if you're able to share it? Thanks 🙂

Also if anyone can recommend a good Power Automate OData reference site that would be great - I've tried googling around to work out the query myself but haven't had much luck.

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