Sharing Office documents centrally from SharePoint Online have been commonly asked feature from the field. There haven’t been really a simple way to do it without any tricks – until recently with new organization asset libraries.
Setting this up only requires few simple steps, depending on your current configuration.
#1 Setup a Library for Templates
First you need to have a document library for your templates. I suggest having a descriptive name for the library, like “Office templates”. Note that, if you already have organization asset libraries configured for hosting your images, you need to set up this library to same site collection.
#2 Configure Library for Hosting Office Templates
Configure the library as an asset library for Office templates with SharePoint Online Management Shell
Add-SPOOrgAssetsLibrary -LibraryUrl https://<tenant>.sharepoint.com/sites/assets/templates -OrgAssetType OfficeTemplateLibrary -CdnType Private
Set OrgAssetType attribute to OfficeTemplateLibrary and CdnType as preferred. You can also set a thumbnail, if preferred.
#3 Copy Your Templates to the Library
Now you can just copy your Office template to the newly created library. Remember that templates need to by saved as a template, otherwise they are not visible on Office clients. You can also use folders for grouping templates and it is possible to configure multiple libraries for hosting templates. I would suggest keeping it simple and have a clear naming of actual templates.
After a while Office 365 tenant and asset library will be visible on your Office clients and your can access templates added to your library.
This is a great improvement for organizations utilizing Microsoft 365 ecosystem.
I also wrote overview of organization asset libraries and how to publish your images centrally with them: https://mattipaukkonen.com/2019/09/26/sharepoint-organization-asset-libraries-explained/
This was super helpful. Thank you!
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Have you been able to see this on Office.com when you create a new Word doc?
Office templates. When a user selects to create a new Office file (from Office.com or the Word, Excel, or PowerPoint desktop app), the user can select the tab for your organization to see the templates. (To use this feature on Office.com, users need to be assigned a license to Office 365 E3 or E5.)
Yes. I can see published templates when creating new document from Office.com.
Most users can see the templates in Word and Powerpoint but some can’t see the templates? All computers are installed through Intune with the same Office 365 E3 versions. Any suggestion ?
to make it a bit more strange, a user can see the templates in Powerpoint Online but not in Powerpoint installed on the computer. How long can it take for the library to be synced to all clients ?
It may be an obvious question, but has the user signed in to the PowerPoint desktop client using the same account they’ve signed in to PowerPoint online with?
great functionality, if it would work :-). I have created the necessary prerequisites and have placed a number of Office-templates, for each of Excel, PowerPoint and Word, in the template asset folder.
Result: In PowerPoint Online I can see the asset template folder, BUT in no other of the apps – both desktop and Online.
What can cause this behaviour?
Thanks in advance,
An addition to my question:
I can now see the templates in all 3 desktop applications and in PowerPoint Online. But still not in Excel and Word. So, what could be wrong?
I mean Excel and Word Online
Regarding the template library:
I have found that it takes a while before you can see the uploaded templates – up to 48 hours.
1) I can see the templates in all the 3 desktop apps + in PowerPoint Online BUT NOT in Word an Excel Online. What could cause this?
2) A peculiar thing is that in the desktop apps, the folder name appearring has the organization name, but in PowerPoint Online the folder name is the template library subfolders name.
Regarding the image library:
1) Are the images in this library meant to be available in the office apps?
Any input is appreciated.
About question one; Excel and Word Online edition have not this functionality yet. You can vote on Microsoft Uservoice forum https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/274580-excel-for-the-web/suggestions/33706381-custom-excel-templates-for-group-or-global-use-in#comments and for Word online https://word.uservoice.com/forums/271331-word-for-the-web/suggestions/42602401-custom-word-templates-for-word-online
I have most of the users with E1 license assigned. Can they access office templates in desktop apps ?
E1 licensed users do not have Microsoft 365 subscription based license for Office desktop apps.
Great article! Microsoft confirmed that this works in Powerpoint Online by design. Excel and Word Online edition have not this functionality yet. You can vote on Microsoft Uservoice forum https://excel.uservoice.com/forums/274580-excel-for-the-web/suggestions/33706381-custom-excel-templates-for-group-or-global-use-in#comments and for Word online https://word.uservoice.com/forums/271331-word-for-the-web/suggestions/42602401-custom-word-templates-for-word-online
Thanks so much for this guide – it worked flawlessly for me and my users are really happy about having a single source of truth for templates (and they’re less worried about “breaking” the templates because they’ve never really understood how templates work).
It would be amazing if ImageDocumentLibrary was integrated into the desktop apps too. Users creating powerpoint presentations would be able to pick images from our library in a very user friendly way.
Hi, do you know if this will work for Office 2019 as well as Office 365 please? We’ve deployed Office 2019 as we have quite a few people who use Visio. Thanks a lot, Tom
This feature is currently available only with Office version included in Microsoft 365 subscription (Microsoft 365 Apps)
Thanks so much for this guide. Do you know if the office templates will appear with a Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscription? This is a subscription similar to E3 but for smaller orgs.
Yes, templates are working also on Business Premium plans.
Great guide, just managed to create a new OfficeTemplate CDN for our school.
However, I’ve placed it behind our school portal which has the permissions set in groups:
Portal visitors (including “Everyone except external users”) – Read
Portal members – Edit
and so on. I had to add a separate “Everyone except external users – Read” permission on top for the whole portal, otherwise Powershell returned and error about read permissions.
Any idea if it’s possible to share the Office templates with only select groups of people? I’d like to share them only with teachers and staff, not students.
is this also working in hybrid environment, so when I have a local AD, but using M 365 for Exchange, OneDrive, Sharepoint and so on?
I assume it works, if users are using Microsoft 365 Apps from the cloud and signing to apps with their M365 identity.