30 March 2016

Correct Document Properties With Templates Manager for SharePoint

Templates Manager logotypeThe product Templates Manager for SharePoint gives important enhancements to SharePoint libraries. Templates Manager makes it easy to distribute Office templates to the whole organization, and when users create new documents, Templates Manager make them enter correct metadata. SharePoint itself lacks both these features.

Templates Manager Publisher Template Manager Publisher buttons
Templates Manager has two parts. Content writers and administrators should activate Templates Manager Publisher for one or several sites. Each site will have a settings page and a templates library that serves the entire SharePoint farm or tenant.

Upload any Word, Excel or PowerPoint document to the library created by Templates Manager Publisher. You don't have to create a template file. Just make sure the file has the background, header and footer, font, colors and so on that you wish to use in new documents of this type. Give it a proper name, select category and click on the Publish button in the library ribbon to propagate the file to the whole organization.
Word 2013 icon          PowerPoint 2013 icon          Excel2013 icon

Templates Manager User
The other part, Templates Manager User, is activated on sites where templates should be used in the libraries. When a user creates a new document, all templates in the templates library selected for that library will be shown. (There is also a button to switch templates library.)

When the user clicks on one of the templates, it will not open immediately. Instead the Properties dialog will open, and this is an important enhancement compared to the standard SharePoint behavior.

File properties with and without Templates Manager
Without Templates Manager, the user has to open the Properties dialog manually when the file has been saved. That might be overseen, which gives some serious problems. If created online, the new file will have an improper name, set automatically by SharePoint, and if some column value is required, it will not be filled out. Then the file will remain checked out and not visible to other users.

As Templates Manager opens the properties dialog first, the user can enter a proper name and other metadata before starting to work on the document, and it will not be possible to leave any mandatory columns blank. The difference is illustrated in the demo below.

I have used a very simple quotes library as an example, but the Tips section has more elaborate instructions on how to build a SharePoint quotes library. I recommend them, just as I recommend you to try Templates Manager for SharePoint!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions