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Posted by Andy Brown on 29 March 2022
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Copying/pasting Power Automate Desktop flows between users
It's easy enough to copy one of your own flows, but how can you then give this to someone else to paste? This blog explains how you can do this in Power Automate Desktop!
Note that if you have access to the Power Automate portal you can share your flow with others or create a solution and export this, as described here. This blog, however, describes a method which will work even if you don't have a premium account (provided that you follow the steps carefully).
Copying your flow
The first thing to do is to copy the main flow and each of your subflows to separate text files (you don't need the intermediate text files - you can just copy and paste - but it makes things easier to manage).
Start by selecting each subflow in turn (including the main flow):
Click on each subflow in turn (this flow only has one) and also on the main flow.
Press Ctrl + A to select all of the actions in the main flow or each subflow (this is by far the easiest way to do this):
Pressing this key combination selects every action in your main flow or subflow.
Copy these actions to the clipboard:
You can obviously press Ctrl + C to do this instead.
Create a new text document - here's one way to do this:
You can right-click on the background of File Explorer and right-click to create a new text file.
Paste in your subflow's actions (the PAD clipboard seems to have an exceptionally short life, so you may need to copy them again), then save this file:
The start of the copied subflow (if you have UI elements these typically take up a lot of lines).
Repeating this should yield one text file for each subflow in your flow, together with a text file for the main flow:
For our example here are the two text files created. If you want to try these out you can download them here.
To paste in your copied main flow and subflows, first create a new flow:
The virgin flow into which we will paste our copied main flow and subflows.
Open the text file that you created containing your main flow and press Ctrl + A to select all of its text, then Ctrl + C to copy it:
Copying the actions for (in this case) the main flow.
Click on your blank flow, and paste:
You can obviously press Ctrl + V instead to do this.
Ignore any errors you get!
You will almost always get errors (in this case it's because the main flow is calling a subflow which you haven't yet created).
Now create each subflow that you're missing (you'll have to get their names from where they're called). Here we're missing a subflow called RunSearch:
We're missing one subflow.
So you should create a subflow ...
Create a new subflow.
... and give it the right name:
Give your new subflow the right name.
You can then copy each subflow's text representation:
Open the text file containing the subflow's actions, select them all and copy them.
Click in the subflow that you've created, and paste:
Paste in the actions for each subflow.
The only thing this method doesn't seem to copy is images (you do get variables and UI elements).
Testing the new flow
This flow should run a Google search, and return whether it finds the Wise Owl web address in the results. You can run it to see if it works!
When you run the flow you should be asked to type in some text.
Avoid clicking or using your mouse while the flow is running. You should see the results:
This search text does return a link to the Wise Owl site.