SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform creates Word files that can't be opened

Problem

Consider the following scenario:

  • You create a Microsoft SharePoint Online or a SharePoint 2013 on-premises workflow by using the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform type.

  • The workflow uses the Create List Item action to create a Microsoft Word document.

  • When you try to open the Word document in Microsoft Word for the web, you receive the following error message:

    Sorry, Word for the web ran into a problem opening this document. To view this document, please open it in Microsoft Word.

  • When you try to open the file in Word, you receive the following error message:

    We're sorry. We cannot open file_name because we found a problem with its contents.

Solution/Workaround

To work around this issue, change the document template that's used for the affected content type. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the affected SharePoint list, create a Word document by clicking the New Document button on the SharePoint ribbon.
  2. Download a copy of the file that you created in step 1.
  3. On the LIBRARY tab in the affected list, click Library Settings, and then click the name of the content type that's associated with the affected template.
  4. Click Advanced settings.
  5. Click the Upload a new document template option, and then click Browse.
  6. Select the file that you downloaded in step 2, and then click Open.
  7. On the Advanced Settings page, click OK.

Note

This workaround affects the templates are used when you create list items by clicking the New Document button on the ribbon.

More information

This behavior is by design. The Create List Item action in the SharePoint 2010 Workflow platform can't convert Word content type file templates to the correct .docx format.

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