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Microsoft

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.

Document template editingDocument 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.

Editing the "New" menuEditing 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.

Mapping templates to content typesMapping 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.

 

 

 

79 Comments
Regular Visitor

Hi,

I hope this is the right forum, otherwise please redirect me :-).

 

In Microsoft Teams, in the Files section, You can choose "Open in SharePoint". This is great because you can do more there than in the Teams environment, i.e. you have the newly enhanced "New" button. With this new button, it is possible to add templates to use in that document library.

 

1) Is there a way to set up a document library with the desired templates already in place, so when creating new Teams, you have a ready set of templates to use, without the need to manually add them?

 

2) Will there be possible in the future to group templates in a sub menu fold-out manner?

 

Best Regards,

Peeter

Occasional Contributor
I don't gave this "Add template" option in my tenant. On targeted release. Some feature I need to activate?
Contributor

Hi @Chris McNulty ,

 

Is there an update to this feature? Specifically centrally managed content type and templates? Thanks.

Deleted
Not applicable

Hi @Chris McNulty and @Miceile Barrett ,

 

Any update on when we will have the ability to use a centrally managed content type in order to automatically update templates that are in use for several different libraries? I have several users who keep asking to use these features since they were said to be coming soon when this was announced almost a full year ago.

 

Thanks!

New Contributor

@Chris McNultyI've just had a look through the comments and as your last update is almost a year old now, can you confirm if the functionality is now available for auto update of templates from Content Type hub to multiple libraries?

New Contributor

@Chris McNulty , I have the same question as @JustinR We did a migration from on prem SharePoint to SharePoint online in May 2018. We had this functionality in the on prem and it was essential to our solution where the customer has 14 content types which all have the same document template which is updated centrally. Today they have to go into each content type when they update the document instead of just updating it centrally and that changes all content types.

 

Occasional Visitor

We are experiencing an issue where these templates "disappear" and are no longer on the menu or available to be selected to the menu. We cannot seem to find the hidden forms folder in the library to reestablish them. The templates we have created are fairly complex and redoing them every time is not an option- Has anyone found this and if so what was the solution?

Contributor

@Chris McNulty  please let us know if this feature has been abandoned. It has become a critical component in our business, and we need to know if it's time to give up. 

Frequent Visitor

@Miceile Barrett any news on when the new template management will be implemented in Microsoft Teams?

 

 

Occasional Visitor

The default behaviour when opening files on our SharePoint site is to open in the Desktop App rather than the browser. Whenever you create a new file from a template it opens in the browser by default - is there any way to force this to open in the Desktop App?

Contributor

@heatherlister we are getting the same issue and would love a solution.

@Chris McNulty has there been any progress on this feature? It's been idle for a long time now. Please don't tell me it's been abandoned :(

Contributor

Hi@Chris McNulty 

 

For some reason I don't have the option to change the content type of the menu entries, only to move them up or down the list. I do have management of custom content types enabled, and I also tried disabling it.

 

What am I missing?

 

New Contributor
Hi @Pedro Innecco, I had the same problem in my Office 365 tenant. Contacted support and was fixed few days later. Not sure what was the problem. Greets, Peter
Contributor

@Peter ... Thanks for this.

 

I opened a case but so far Microsoft hasn't been helpful. First-line support guy has been nice but it is beyond his grasp. As for the next engineer, so far I am unimpressed.

Occasional Contributor
Was also second line that helped me.
Contributor

@peterdeleu So far he experience with Microsoft Support is excruciating. Pulling teeth is a walk in the park in comparison.

 

First line guy managed to replicate my issue, but didn't know to what team to escalate. Then he escalated to development. The person who took my case didn't care to read the case notes and simply sent me articles on how to create and publish content types (SERIOUSY?!) only to then tell me this isn't a development issue, and pushed it back to the first line -- who I haven't heard back from since then.

 

Every day with Office 365 support is an adventure.

 

@Chris McNulty can you please advise?

 

Occasional Visitor

I Have created 3 word templates using this method and they work great, users can select them from the "new" menu and start editing right on word online.

 

But the excel template and the powerpoint template I have added don't work, they look like they are going to open but they go to a blank page "about:blank" if I refresh the document folder I can see the file they have created but instead of  creating an editable powerpoint file from the template it has created a copy of the template which is locked for editing. Clicking on it does not open in powerpoint online but instead downloads the template and then opens in the powerpoint app in the edit template mode.

 

Am I doing something wrong or does it just not work for powerpoint and excel templates?

Contributor

I never tried for Powerpoint.

We use several excel templates which work fine for us. Excel files should not cause problems.

I have however experienced on some occasions the "blank page" problem. Most of the time it is solved by either renewing my screen or worst case scenario by closing and reopening the document library and choosing new again. I have the feeling it has something to do with loading speed. 

Senior Member

@Chris McNulty Any word on when central management of templates will be available? It was coming soon well over a year ago. Did it drop off the roadmap?

Contributor

@Chris McNulty has this been shelved?

Occasional Visitor

Is there any way to access the template urls programmatically? I tried CSOM and the REST Api but can't find the template files listed anywhere. If the files appear in the SP Online UI need to display the files in my tools so that the users find the same choices but I can't figure out where the information about the templates is stored in SP Online and how to access it.

Frequent Contributor

@IRRDC , here is how you can get the list of templates attached to a library using REST:

https://yourtenant/sites/yoursite/_api/Web/GetFolderByServerRelativePath(decodedurl='/sites/yoursite/yourlibrary/Forms')/Files?$Filter=not substringof('.aspx',Name)

 

Frequent Contributor

@IRRDC Here is how you can access the templates attached to a library using REST:

https://yourtenant/sites/yoursite/_api/Web/GetFolderByServerRelativePath(decodedurl='/sites/yoursite/yourlibrary/Forms')/Files?$Filter=not substringof('.aspx',Name)

Occasional Visitor

@Martin CoupalThank you. That seems to be the way to do it.

Contributor

@Chris McNulty wrote:

Frequently Asked Questions

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: 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.

 


@Chris McNulty how does the centrally managed content type work? I imagine after 2 years this is now working? Thank you.

New Contributor

@Chris McNulty  Thank you for this feature. Can you advise: how do I delete a test template I uploaded? I can hide it from the menu, but I cannot delete it from the menu. I even tried deleting the document from the Forms library, but it still is visible when I go to edit the menu. This is for a client, so I do not want to leave a test template in the menu. Thanks!

New Contributor

@jilldiv Just click on the right end of the entry in the "Edit New menu" dialogue. The indicator for the menu is missing.

2020-08-03 17_10_33-.png

Occasional Visitor
@heatherlister  Did you solve your problem:

The default behaviour when opening files on our SharePoint site is to open in the Desktop App rather than the browser. Whenever you create a new file from a template it opens in the browser by default - is there any way to force this to open in the Desktop App?

I'm still looking for this possibility ...

Occasional Visitor

@BartD309 I'm afraid not - still looking for an answer too!