My users have a requirement in SharePoint Online to create new versions of Word and Excel documents from an existing document "template". The templates are simple pre-formatted Word or Excel docs.

Ultimately what I would like to happen is when a user clicks "new" in the document library, in addition to the defaults of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc, a list of document templates would also show up along with the defaults:

Default Create New menu

I know in SharePoint 2010 this is possible (see this post: How do I configure a document library to create a new document using a custom template?).

An attempt was made to create a new Content Type and modify the List Settings to include that Content Type, however now when clicking "new", it brings up the Upload dialog rather than the default "Create a new file" dialog.

Is this doc templating possible in SharePoint Online? Ultimately it would be best if this were out of the box, however we could potentially roll a custom solution as well.

Any insights would be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


This is one of those things that Microsoft should have made better, but hasn't yet. I tried your way, and extended it further by deleting the default content type from the library after I've added my new custom content type to the library.

The new button fails, and you get an upload dialog instead. Very bad User Experience since I wanted to create a new file - not upload.

From the ribbon I get my new template, not in Word Online - but in my client app Word 2013. This is true even if I set the library setting > advanced settings > open in option to online mode. This is a correct choice since Word online can't guarantee that it can implement all features in all dotx-files.

I'd change the link from the new-button to access the new template directly instead of upload. I guess that will happen before the end of 2014.

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  • You "guess that will happen before the end of 2014"? Do you have a source for that? I have a client that is extremely frustrated with this "feature" and if MS will provide a fix this year I will not waste my time building one. Jul 14, 2014 at 21:26
  • @DerekGusoff No Source, just a guess. I've seen this springs improvement on the O365 plattform and it is amazing. But no official note, I'm affraid. Your best option is to contact Microsoft Sopport absolut this specific error!
    – Benny Skogberg
    Jul 14, 2014 at 21:34
  • @BennySkogberg: Thanks for this! I hadn't thought of looking at the New Document button in the ribbon. So I tried that with my config and it's there. Seems to open up fine in Word Online with no issues. What settings are you using in the new Content Type? My custom Content Type is using a .dotx file, and in advanced settings is set to Read Only. I wonder if the JS API could be used to replace the "new" button action with items from the ribbon button? Jul 15, 2014 at 0:15
  • @jbarntish Same here. dotx file but not read-only in advanced options. You could most certainly replace a link with any JS API, such as jQuery if you like.
    – Benny Skogberg
    Jul 15, 2014 at 5:52

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