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Announcing new file template management for document library content types

In Microsoft 365, SharePoint is at the centerstage of document-centric collaboration.  And SharePoint content types are essential tools for managing content at scale.  Content types can be used to enforce standards for custom metadata, document lifecycle, templates and more. 

 

Content types are essential to our vision of how we’ll continue to deliver content services innovation in Microsoft 365.  We’ve modernized information lifecycles in Microsoft 365 with data governance labels to establish retention and record policies.  But templates have been obscure and hard to use. 

 

That’s why we’re excited to announce the ability to add document templates to SharePoint document library content types.  We’re also adding the ability to edit the New menu - to add, hide or reorder the new file options.

 

In a modern library, you can add a template directly to your document library via the New menu drop down.

DocTemplates.pngDocument template editing

 

With this new capability, you can also maintain the default Word Excel, PowerPoint etc. templates along with any newly added templates and content types.

 

You can also choose which templates are shown in the library by easily configuring the New menu in a modern panel.

 

 

You can configure the New menu by selecting (or deselecting) which templates you wish to see and by using drag and drop to re-order the templates in the menu. Within this pane you can edit the template directly in the Office client, change the template's content type or delete the template.

DocTemplatesNew.pngEditing the "New" menu

This experience fully integrates with existing templates created via content types and supports any existing ‘New’ menu configurations.    This gives you the freedom to adjust the template for single library without overwriting any other library’s templates from the same content type.

 

You can also easily change the content type of the template at any time, as shown below.

DocTemplatesCT.PNGMapping templates to content types

We will start the roll out of this capability to our Targeted Release customers in early September 2018.  Thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: I've always been able to manage the display of content types in library settings. how does this new capability work with that?

Answer: The new template controls for editing the New button on the command bar provide an additional measure of control for new templates loaded on top of the existing content types. In the future, we will integrate the library settings functionality directly into the modern configuration experience for unified management.

 

Question: If I have a centrally defined content type in the content type hub, and I change the templates there, will they be automatically extended to any libraries where local use template has been loaded?

Answer: For the moment, the content type hub will not update any locally defined templates linked to that content type. However, we will soon introduce the ability for a centrally managed content type, along with its custom metadata rules and templates, to be published to all locations, including locally defined templates, with full reporting visibility.

 

Question:  What happens if I change the default content type in a library? Will the new templates still point to the original content type?

Answer: The new templates are always mapped to the default content type. If you change the content type, the templates will follow.

 

Question: What happens if I delete the default content type in a library?

Answer: Nothing changes from prior behaviors. You cannot delete any content types that are still in use. Every library requires at least one content type, so any preexisting templates would be mapped onto the new default.

 

Question: These features look great for a single library, but how can I distribute templates to multiple libraries throughout a wide-ranging information architecture?

Answer: Again, for the time being, these features are scoped to a single document library. In the future, we will expand these capabilities to allow you to distribute and publish content types, with associated templates and metadata definitions, to multiple site collections and libraries in a single transaction.

 

 

 

21 Comments
Valued Contributor
From reading the FAQ, quite a lot needs to be unbundled into the ‘now’, ‘soon’ and ‘in the future’ timelines. Hopefully this will be clarified at Ignite. In any case ‘modern’ and ‘classic’ co-existence is ongoing for the foreseeable future.
New Contributor

Great start for this new feature. I agree with John Wynne where the clarification of what’s available now, soon, not so soon explained at MS Ignite and due to to these types of enhanced feature sets still being developed, classic and modern will definitely co-exist for the foreseeable future 

Occasional Visitor

Can we still embed the columns within the document(like on prem)?

Visitor

Will this functionality also show up in Teams when working with the "Files" tab and the New-button?

Occasional Contributor

Hi Chris,

 

can this change be stopped at tenant scope using PowerShell or other means?

 

PnP Provisioning bespoke solution is used in our tenant and want to prevent site admins/others adding ContentTypes/Templates from UI.

 

Thanks,

Raju

New Contributor

Will this functionality be added to the pages library and the "new" menu when viewing a page within a communication site?

Microsoft

This feature will appear in communication sites during the same rollout. We are currently building this functionality in Teams, but it will ship after this initial roll out. 

 

Embedding columns in the document will function the same as the current experience.

 

This experience cannot be turned off via PowerShell. Note, all permissions for content type and template creation will remain the same. 

 

When is this available? 

Microsoft

@Kushan Lahiru Perera it will be starting Targeted Release soon, and after that process completes, general release will begin - probably by end of September.

New Contributor

Great! Thanks @Chris McNulty, just the feature we've been waiting for, it will make it easier for content owners to manage their templates.  Just one question and a nice feature for us... Can we have more than 1 template per content type?

Keep up those intrazone podcasts 👍

Our company's employees is used to working with the desktop versions of Office 365, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. We do however use Sharepoint to store all our files. If I create a set of templates through the Sharepoint Document library for our company, will these show up / be available through the Office 365 desktop applications?

Regular Visitor

Just tried this with Word documents and I get an error message 'Value does not fall within the expected range.' .  The document appears in the New dropdown but if clicked results in a blank page. 

 

If I edit New menu and then edit the Word document from the right hand menu, it DOES load (directly into Word).

 

If I try to upload the Word documents as templates, I get the same error message.

 

It adds the templates to the library but renames them as File, File1, etc.. The correct file type is retained.

 

@Chris McNulty, is there a missing step or pre-requisite for this to work?

Frequent Visitor

Thank you for the update. However, I noticed that this update has eliminated the drop-down function of the 'New' button on SharePoint lists with pre-existing content types. I can confirm that the drop-down button was working fine yesterday morning, EST. However, sometime yesterday afternoon, this drop-down button stopped working. I opened a support ticket with Microsoft (#11396733). Please advise.

Microsoft

@Ben Murphy - thanks for bringing this up. I have a repro and we are working on a fix asap. One question, when the file does successfully appear in the New Menu, it is the wrong template? 

 

@Hassaan Ahmad - that should absolutely not be happening. I can not repro this bug in any of my environments. Could you message me a fiddler trace?

 

@Tormod Solem Slupphaug - Great feedback. We are working closely with the clients to create an experience that can leverage SharePoint's templates. 

Regular Visitor

Thanks for the reply @Miceile Barrett, much appreciated. I tested a word document again this morning and it's content type is set to Document. 

 

I can't now edit it from within the 'Edit New menu' dialog (I could yesterday) - it doesn't load. If I open the document from within the library (its name has changed to 'DOCX File1.docx' then I can edit it. 

Occasional Contributor

Hi Chris,

 

I've long waited for this feature (ability to set multiple templates to the same content type in the same library).

The only thing that is missing is the ability to specify the template url instead of uploading the template and keeping a copy in the Forms folder.

 

It would be the same as with content type template were it is allowed to put the Url. Normally I create a library accessible to everyone in the business where I place all templates to make it easy to manage (I have also integrate the location of this library in Office personalized templates so they can use these templates). This make templates accessible from everywhere and easy to manage.

 

Nice improvement!

Frequent Contributor

<edit> I think I understand. At this moment it only works for people in first release. This user isn't in first release.

 

 

I have a couple of problems with this new feature.

 

As an admin I can add new templates.

When I try to remove those templates they aren't removed and vissible.

 

When I add a template as admin. And I log in as a user I can't see the template. Even the templates I unchecked are still vissible.

See the screenshot.

 Template error.png

 

 

New Contributor

This new functionality is great, however modern SharePoint lists with multiple content types are broken now. There's no way to add a new item with a different content type other than a default one. The choice of a content type moved to the new item page, but selecting a content type from the drop down does not change the page to reflect new or missing fields in the content type! This very serious and our customers can't use modern lists for adding items. The same is true for edit forms when editing all fields. See below screenshot when adding a new item and selecting the content type with 6 fields - the form still contains only 1 field from the default content type:

 

 ListCTIssue.PNG

But it should like this (some fields were cut off in a screenshot): 

ListCTIssue6.PNGThe NewForm should look like this

@Chris McNulty, do you have any comment on this?

Frequent Visitor

@Elena Nakhmanson: I have the same issue. See my comment above. I have an open ticket with Microsoft support (Ticket #:11396733). 

Trusted Contributor

@Chris McNultywhat determines if a new feature is rolled out through the Targeted Release program? Where can we find a complete an accurate listing of the features that are actually part of this program?

 

I would like to be able to communicate with the users who are in a tenants Targeted Release group, but it hard to ask them what they think about a new feature when I'm not even sure which features are in the TR program .

Occasional Visitor

@Chris McNulty- it appears Visio files (VSDX or VSTX) are not currently working with this new feature. Any ideas when this will be resolved?