2 min read

It’s not unusual to have a document with loads of fields in it. In fact this is the value of having documents saved in SharePoint, rather than the network drive.


But if I have a very similar document that requires the same or similar meta data, how do I clone/copy this data to the other file?

Datasheet view?

Well no, because if any of these fields are required, it’ll be difficult to actually upload the document.


The way to do this is to add an additional simple content type to the library with no meta data , then upload the document to the content type and then kick off a workflow from the an existing document with meta data in it (source) to populate the newly uploaded document.


These are the steps:


  1. Create a new Content Type called Clone


Notice that the only required field is the file name.


  1. Apply this Content Type to the Library where the document needs to be Cloned.

  1. Create a workflow in SharePoint Designer to Clone the meta data.
  • This could be a list workflow, but the Start Options need to be manually set


  1. Create an Initiation From Parameter from the button on the Ribbon


This field is called DOC ID to clone


So now every time this workflow runs, the user is prompted to enter a value into this field.




  1. Select update List Item and click Add and select your fields for copy.


In the figure above the Document Type Value field is being copied from the source document to the new other document. The value DOC ID is the target document.

Remember you don’t need to know the ID of the source document because the workflow is running on this item.


  1. Save and Publish the Workflow. Call it Clone


  2. Add the Value ID to the view of the library.


The design of the library is set up to clone the document.


Let’s run through the steps of the cloning process.


1, upload the document and select the Content Type Clone



2.     Save the document


So the document is now saved in the library

3.    Choice the menu drop down of the document in the library:



4.    Select workflows


5.    Choice the workflow Clone to start the workflow.


6.    Type in the Doc ID of the target document. This value can be obtained from the view (Remember you just added this field to the View)


  1. Press Start. The workflow will copy the value in the field Document Type, to the newly uploaded document.

The information is copied. Final step:

  1. Go to the target document (the one with the Content type Clone) and change the Content Type from Clone to the one with all the meta data.