1. I haven’t tried this out but managed meta data columns are nothing more than a regular lookup fields. It should be possible to lookup the correct value from the taxonomyhiddenlist and use then the values in SharePoint. Never tried this out but it is my first idea I came up. There you might not have to add columns.

  2. I have a metadata field which allows multiple selection..above described works for single selection..Could you please tell me how to get value if its multiple selection?

  3. Try this:

    1) **Find substring in string** in which:

    – substring is just the pipe | character
    – string is your metadatafield_0 field
    – output: index1

    2) **Extract substring from string with length** in which:

    – substring is your metadata_0 field from the current item
    – starting location is 0
    – end is the output of the first step (index1)
    – output: substring1

    Now log substring1. In my case this results exactly in all characters in front of the pipe character:)

    • Jaap:

      I swear I tried to go this sort of route and couldn’t get there. I don’t see **Find substring in string** in the installations I can get to. The only “Find” action I see is minutes between dates.

      If it works for you, I believe you, and boy does it make me question my approach!


  4. Hey there. Looks like your site is getting a lot of hits about managed metadata and workflows so I thought I would share a solution.

    I also had an issue not seeing the “Find substring in string” action in SPD 2013. The issue I found out with mine was that I was working with a workflow created with SP 2010 and not 2013.

    Recreate the workflow in 2013 and you’ll have all the string manipulation actions available.

    • Sonny:

      That’s a great solution, should you be using SharePoint 2013. Many, many people are still on SharePoint 2010 and probably will be for years. It’s a shame there isn’t an easier way to do this.


  5. Marc,

    I am also facing issue where SharePoint workflow simply doesn’t fire when a new item is created or item edited. Times I have to re-start workflow manually, or edit item again.

    Is there any fix ?


    • Parth:

      There are many reasons why a workflow might not fire or may fail. IMO, the workflow engine isn’t highly reliable in the first place. I see too many instances simply not run. You also may have code in place which is interfering with the workflow or it may have an error in it.


  6. Hi All,

    Just wanted to share a slightly different way I have come up with to extract those horrible managed metadata fields into an email or even link into from other sharepoint lists.

    1. Start with your managed metadata column (Column1Name)
    2. Create a 2nd column (Column2Name) in the list of type string
    3. In Sharepoint Designer, edit the NewForm.aspx
    4. Insert this Jquery Script Below: (it will help if you know a bit of JS)..

    //Initiate this function when user clicks save
    function PreSaveAction() {

    //Extract Metadata fields from Column1Name
    var str = $(“input[id=’Column1NameControlID’]”).val();
    var result = str.split(“;”);
    var finalresult = “”;

    //Clean metadatafield text. Remove guids
    $.each( result, function( i, val ) {
    var resultB = val.split(“|”);
    finalresult = finalresult + resultB[0] + “,”;

    //Save output in Column2Name
    return true;

        //Hide Column2Name field from form to prevent people editing it


    – You need to look at form source to extract the Column1NameControlID and Column2NameControlID

    it looks something likes this:

    – This will work with multiple metadata fields
    – You can now reference Column2Name in all emails/workflows
    – You can now link in Column2Name from other lists

    I hope this gives people ideas on other ways to work round this issue.

  7. Wanted to say thank you, thank you!! You keep things simple and straight to the point which I like about your article on this topic. I needed to add in some managed metadata from the Term Store for my project at work and this was exactly what I needed. I did some messing around with it and unfortunately the issue of it firing does exist. This next part is based entirely on my own speculation as I did originally get the same issue of the workflow not starting. It would simply not update the field when putting it into the email so I understand that is a big problem at times. However, I realized that the calculated column will take some time to complete, so I added a pause for 1 minute and it seems to fix the issue. Try it out if you would like and let me know if that works for you.


Have a thought or opinion?