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We are using SharePoint Online via Office 365. I am pretty sure I am not the only one facing the sort of issues mentioned below, so I wonder what sort of workarounds you guys came with.

We have multiple sites and I would like to ensure that our corporate Word and PowerPoint templates are used across the organisation. Preferably each document library should have those templates by default, so when someone chooses New Word Document, it should use our template.

Now based on my understanding of SharePoint limitations, things are not that straightforward. So what I did is publish new content types at the content type hub site named Contoso Word Document, Contoso PowerPoint Document, etc. And then I go on to configure each newly created document library to use the content types we created instead.

But here is the problem...

When using a library without custom content types: A user can drop documents into the document library and they will by default use the content type Document. Be it a Word Document, an Excel, PDF, TXT, .Whatever. Alo when they choose a document type from the NEW menu (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) the document will always be set to just Document.

When using a library with custom content types: My default content type is called My Company Word Document, which has our Word document template.

So every time someone drops a document in the document library, regardless of what it is, it gets this as their content type, which can of course be misleading since a PDF is not a Word Document. If I rename the content type to just Contoso Document, then it wouldn't be neatly shown in the NEW menu of a document library.

Problem is that the default entries of a NEW menu in a document library (Word, Excel, etc) all use the same Document content type, which is ideal for content type categorisation, but not ideal for templates.

Another issue for those creating multiple content types to handle different templates is that when we save the document from an Office Application into the document library, it will prompt us to what sort of document it is, which can give room to human error, like saving a Contoso Word Document accidentally as a Contoso PowerPoint instead.

One (partial/clumsy) solution that came to my mind while I was writing this post is that I could create an ACME Document content type. No need for a template. Then I create sub-content types based on ACME Document, like ACME Word Document, which has the appropriate template file associated with it. Then I add the ACME Document as the default of the document library but I hide it as an option from the NEW menu, and I add the other ACME Word, ACME PowerPoint etc to it as well.

While this would address the issue of documents being uploaded to the library being classified as ACME Documents, it would still be messy. First because a Word or PowerPoint document would just be classified as ACME Document when there is a more appropriate sub-content types for them. Second that this doesn't address the issue of users having to choose the correct content type when saving documents form an Office application.

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