25 March 2013

SharePoint 2013 Document Library Templates

SharePoint 2013 logotype Your company problably has templates for documents created in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but do you use them also when the documents are created directly in SharePoint?

In my series of tutorials on SharePoint 2013 for the Tips section I have now published a demo that shows how to use Content Types to add templates to SharePoint document libraries.

Content Types with templates
When you want to use templates for documents created from a SharePoint library you cannot just add them to the library. Instead you will have to create SharePoint Content Types for the kind of documents you need and then add a document to each Content Type.

The document you add to the Content Type should have the theme – background, header and footer, font, colors – you wish to use, but you actually don't have to add a real template. Any document that looks as you wish will do, as SharePoint does not create  a new document based on a template but instead just copies the file added to the Content Type when a new document is created.

These are the main steps in my demo:
  • Create three new Site Content Types, one for Word, one for Excel and one for PowerPoint
  • Upload a Word document, a spreadsheet and a presentation to their separate Content Types
  • Add all the three Content Types to the Document Library
When I am finished I have three kinds of document templates to choose from when I create a new document directly from the SharePoint Library:
SharePoint Document Library templates
In the Tips page "Use Content Types to add Document Library templates to SharePoint 2013" you can find the same demo as below and also a detailed Step by Step guide.

Add your own templates to SharePoint Document Libraries
In my demonstration I create the templates for Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations, but you probably already have templates you can use. What you need to do then is to create SharePoint Content types for the different document types and then upload your templates to them. After that you just have to add the Content Types to a SharePoint Document library.

Save Library app as template
In the future you might want to create another Document Library with the same Content Types, so therefore I finish my tutorial by showing how to create a template from the Library app.

I have used the Office 365 version of SharePoint 2013 for my demonstration, but the principle is the same for other versions.

Use metadata and keywords to find and organize documents

For a SharePoint Document Library to be really useful it must be organized in a way that makes it easy for users to quickly find documents and information. I therefore recommend you to start tagging your files with keywords and metadata right from the beginning.

Document Tagger logotypeTagging documents manually is a tedious and time consuming task, but Business Solutions has developed a tool that analyzes  the documents and presentations in your SharePoint Document Library with the help of a language processing service and suggests tags for them.

And not only that – Document Tagger for SharePoint also makes it easier to use the tags to find the files you need among all those you will have stored after a while.

 Document Tagger is currently only available in a Beta version for SharePoint 2010, but later this year we will release a full version that supports SharePoint 2013 too.

You are welcome to learn more about this new solution for SharePoint Document Libraries on the website!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer Business Solutions
Microsoft certified SharePoint specialist and Trainer


  1. Ronald van Herk24 May, 2013

    Hi Peter, thank you for this information. Do you know if it is possible to do the same thing for peoples Skydrive Pro (on Office 365) My Documents library? It would be great to facilitate our company templates to everyones My Documents on their SkyDrive Pro page

  2. Hi Ronald,
    Sounds like a good idea, but I for the moment I don’t have a clear plan for how it could be done. If you can do it, please blog about it and place a link here!

  3. Hi Peter,
    I am trying to have my word templates .dotx files in a document library and to make that when I click on one template, it generates a "Document1.doCx" file.
    Would You know how to do that, knowing that I have hundreds of templates that are categorized?
    Thank You Very Much for Your Invaluable Input!

  4. Hi Marc,

    SharePoint simply does a copy of the file that you have as a template, so if you want a .docx you need to make your template a .docx, NOT a .dotx. SharePoint doesn't use the Office template formats, neither .dotx, potx, .xltx, dot, .pot, xlt or any other. Always, just a copy!

    Please contact if you need help transferring all those .dotx files to .docx i a quick way.

  5. Hi,

    Do you know how to do this on a on-premises SharePoint? How do you get the template to open in Office Web App not "regular" Word?

  6. Hi Jille,

    As far as I know that would require some coding.
    I hope this link will get you started:

  7. Thanks. This is helpful.