Using Office templates from a Sharepoint library

25 May 2017Matt Hilton

Template management always sucks. All this guidance about "MAKE SURE YOU DON'T SAVE OVER THE TEMPLATE!!!111one!!!" is boring.

I'd like to use the in-built "Spotlight" screen (you know, the "New document" one you see when you open Word) to create docs from my company's templates, so I found a way to do it which ensures I'm always using the most up-to-date template, and doesn't require me to remember where I last downloaded the damn .dotx files.

​1. Sync the templates

​Use OneDrive for Business to sync the templates library locally:

  • ​Head over to your Document Library containing the templates
  • Click the "Sync" button on the library menu
  • OneDrive4B will launch, and in a few clicks you'll have the templates sync'd somewhere useful such as C:\Users\matt\OneDrive4Business\Brand assets - Document Templates​

2. Point Office at them

  • ​Open the Office app you want to load the templates up into File > Options; then within the dialog that pops up, choose the "Save" tab
  • On that options panel, there's one called "Default personal templates location". Set that to the local location where you've sync'd the template library
  • Do this separately for each application you want the templates loaded into (once for Powerpoint, once for Word. I know. Sigh.)

Now, when you first open up the app, you'll be able to access the templates on that Spotlight screen via the "PERSONAL" tab

​3. Pin them (optional)

  • ​Open the Spotlight and flick over to the PERSONAL tab
  • Hover over the templates you use often, and click the pin icon

Now, your pinned templates will show up not just under PERSONAL, but under FEATURED as well, saving you a click each time you create from a template

It would be nice if there was a way this could be set up pointing directly at the Sharepoint library without first syncing it, but it works for now :)