How to create and define the document templates’ library

To be able to create documents from within MetaShare’s user interface, a document library for MetaShare’s document templates needs to be created, configured and defined.

Below you find instructions for how to:

  1. How to create the document templates’ library and set appropriate permissions
  2. How to add document columns to the templates’ library
  3. How to define the path to the document templates, in MetaShare
  4. How to also make the MetaShare templates available from Office applications

How to create the document templates’ library and set appropriate permission

The document template’s library can be located in any SharePoint site. To ensure that MetaShare content types and site columns can be subscribed to the site, without any issues, we recommend that you create a new site collection that does not have any previous custom site columns in it that could conflict with the columns that are published from the content type hub. Therefore our recommendation is to either create a MetaShare workspace for your document templates, probably based on a unique workspace configuration, to create a document library for the templates in the content type hub, or to create a new standard SharePoint site collection. Regardless of where the templates are stored, all users that should be able to create documents from the templates, need read permissions to the library where they are stored.

If you create a new standard SharePoint site collection, these are the instructions:

  1. Login to Office 365 and open the “Admin” app from the App Launcher:
    App launcher
  2. Open the “SharePoint” admin center:
    Link to "SharePoint" admin center
  3. On the new tab that opens up, open “Sites” and “Active sites” and click on the “Create” function, in the toolbar:
    Create site in SharePoint admin
  4. When asked for what type of site you want to create, select the “Other options” alternative:
    Select site template
  5. Fill in the form:
    Create a team site  
    Guidance:
    1. Select “Team site” as the template.
    2. Give the site a meaningful “Site name”, e.g. “MetaShare’s document templates”.
    3. The “Site address” is automatically proposed but could be changed, if needed.
    4. Add a “Primary administrator” for the site.
    5. Select the language for the site. If you want your templates to work efficiently with smart document templates, the language should be the same as the default language that all workspaces are created in (currently the default language of the Content Type Hub).
    6. Select your “Time zone”.
    7. Click on the “Finish” button.
  6. Once the site is created, open the site collection.
  7. Click on the “Settings” icon on the top right-hand side of the page and then “Site permissions”:
    Link to site permissions
  8. Click on the “Advanced permissions settings” link:
    Link to advanced permissions settings
  9. Now add the users to these two SharePoint groups:
    The visitors' and the owners' SharePoint groups
    1. Visitors for users that should be able to create documents from the templates. They will be given read permissions to the templates.
    2. Owners for the users that should be able to manage the templates (upload new templates, edit templates, delete templates and add document metadata to the library (if you want to have smart document templates)). They will be given full permissions on the site.
  10. Click on the “New” function and then select “Add Users”:
    Select "Add Users"
  11. Add the users/groups and unmark the check box “Send an email invitation” before you click on the “Share” button:
    Add users to the group

How to add document columns to the templates’ library

In order to create smart document templates, the document library needs to have the columns that should be added to the templates. If the templates are located in a MetaShare workspace this step is not needed, as MetaShare automatically adds metadata to the document library.

  1. Open the document library’s settings by clicking on “Site contents” on the left navigation, then clicking on the ellipsis (three vertical dots) and selecting the “Settings” option:
    Open the document library's settings
  2. Under the “Columns” section, click on the “Add from existing columns” link:
    Link to "Add from existing columns"
  3. To make it easier to select the applicable columns to add, select the applicable site column group. Select the applicable columns, click on the “Add” button and then on the form’s “OK” button.
    Add columns from existing site columns

How to define the path to the document templates, in MetaShare

  1. Once the document template library has been created, copy the path to the document library and paste it into the “Document template library” field in MetaShare’s general settings:
    The "Document template library" field in MetaShare’s general settings
  2. Add meaningful templates to the document template library.
  3. A “New” function will now be visible in the toolbar inside workspaces, displaying all templates in the document template library. Click it to create documents.

How to also make the MetaShare templates available from Office applications

The document templates that are uploaded to MetaShare’s template library can also be made available from Office applications (Word, Excel and PowerPoint), if users also want to create documents from there, but only the “real” document templates will be shown (.dotx, .potx, .xltx). This is done by designating the template’s library as the central location for organization assets across your tenant, using PowerShell, by following these steps:

  1. Open PowerShell (click on the computer’s start button and type “PowerShell”) and start the application.
  2. If you haven’t installed PowerShell’s PnP module yet, install it by following these instructions.
  3. Connect to SharePoint’s content type hub by writing this PowerShell command (replace “yourtenant” with your tenant):
    Connect-PnPOnline –Url https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/sites/contentTypeHub -Credentials (Get-Credential)
    If you use multi-factor authentication on your tenant, you need yo use this command:
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url https://yourtenant.sharepoint.com/sites/contentTypeHub -UseWebLogin
    You will be prompted to login:
    Login to PNP
  4. Designate the template’s library as the central location for organization assets across your tenant, by running this PowerShell command, with this syntax:
    Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryURL [the URL for the template's library] -OrgAssetType OfficeTemplateLibrary
    So, for this URL:
    https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/MetaShares-Document-Templates/Documents
    The command will be:
    Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryURL https://contoso.sharepoint.com/sites/MetaShares-Document-Templates/Documents -OrgAssetType OfficeTemplateLibrary
    Note that it may take from a couple of hours to a day for this change to be reflected in your Office applications.
  5. Once the changes have been applied, your MetaShare templates will now be shown in Office, when you click on the application’s “File” tab, the “New” option on the left navigation and then a tab with your organization’s name on it:
    MetaShare templates shown in Office applications