Storing your document templates in SharePoint

Powershell

As I was busy creating the shownotes for Office 365 Distilled ep30, I heard Steve (my co-presenter) asking about this document templates feature in SharePoint. I meant to write a blogpost about this sooner but it kind of piled up next to the other 100 ideas I want to write down. So here goes!

Announced at Ignite 2019, this new functionality lets you store Word en PowerPoint templates in SharePoint, and make them available from the client apps themselves. This is super useful for your admins: before you had to save them on a fileshare AND on SharePoint (if you wanted to make them available from your Content Types).

Adding organisational templates to Word en PowerPoint

Your users will love this as well: No longer do they have to search for the correct template, or worse: copy/paste another finished file and deleting the things they don’t need anymore. Now, they can just open up the client app, choose the right app and away they go!

In order to make this happen, you need to do 2 things:
1. Create a location to store these templates
2. Mark this location as an assets library

Create a location to store these templates

The first step is to go to SharePoint and create a new site to store these templates. This isn’t necessary per se, but it is recommended. We can add up to 30 locations to store assets, but they all need to be in the same site collection. That is why it probably is a good idea to create a separate site for it. Another plus is that you can set really strict security rules on it, so nobody messes with the templates and you have a controlled output.

In that new site, create a new document library. This library will be used to keep our templates. You can add your templates in there, you can use folders (I know, I know… folders in SharePoint…) to structure the files. You probably want to create a folder for every department, like HR, IT, Marketing, …

My OrgAssets site, with my Office Templates library to hold the templates

Mark the location as an assets library

Now that we have stored our templates in this location, we need to let Office 365 know that we want that location to be used as Organisational asset library. We are going to need a little bit of PowerShell for that.

So install the latest SharePoint Online Management Shell, start it up and paste the following code. Replace YourTenant, YourAssetsSit and YourAssetLibrary by the tenantname, site and library you are in.

Connect-SPOService -url "https://YourTenant-admin.sharepoint.com"

#Get the existing Assets libraries
Get-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary

#Add an Assets library
Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://YourTenant/sites/YourAssetsSite/YourAssetLibrary -OrgAssetType OfficeTemplateLibrary

#Remove an Assets library
Remove-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://YourTenant/sites/YourAssetsSite/YourAssetLibrary

Get-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary will look at your tenant and give you back all the assets libraries that are defined. Once again…they all need to be in the same site collection.

Next thing you want to do is to add the library by using this command:

Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://YourTenant/sites/YourAssetsSite/YourAssetLibrary -OrgAssetType OfficeTemplateLibrary

You will get a warning regarding CDS (Content Delivery Network) that is being used by Office 365 to make sure your templates are delivered. You can go “yes” on that one. Wait for about 5 – 10 minutes to have it all delivered.

When you now open up PowerPoint or Word, you will see the new addition under the “New” button and the templates appear there! The new tab will have the same name as you set up for the organisation name in Office 365.

I created a short video (in dutch) for my Mijn 365 Coach business (Youtube channel here):

You can find more information on Get-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary here.
You can find more information on Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary here.
You can find more information on Remove-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary here.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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