How to deploy Office templates with Group Policy

This article is for IT professionals only. Office templates are created by users. How to make common templates available to all employees (or specific groups)? To deploy Office templates we can use Group Policy / Intune or Endpoint Manager.  Here are the approaches available.

Deploy Office templates using File Folder / SharePoint Document Library

  1. AD and GPMC is required. For Office 365 use Intune or Endpoint manager.
  2. To deploy Office templates (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) all all of them in a central shared folder or a document library.
  3. Install and download Group Policy admin templates for Office.
  4. Open Group Policy MMC, open Admin templates – MS Office <ver> – Shared Paths
  5. Change the setting Enterprise Templates Path
  6. If server share provide UNC Path.
  7. If SharePoint library, add that as a network location (or map as drive in login script).
  8. That’s It. Now users can see templates in Word, Excel, PowerPoint – File – New
Office workgroup templates path in endpoint manager

Deploying Building Blocks file for Word

Word creates usable blocks for text, tables, cover pages, header / footers, text boxes and more. All these are stored in Building Blocks.dotm. You can pool common, reusable elements for a department, team or organization in a centralized Building Blocks.dotm file.

The method is similar to the other Template files. But the only difference is the GPMC (or Intune / Endpoint Manager) setting. Use the Building Blocks Path setting.

Using content types to deploy Office templates

  1. Create a document library
  2. Give read only access to all users
  3. Create and map a content type
  4. Add templates to the content type.
  5. This is how you deploy Office templates directly into document libraries
  6. New button in the document library will now list all mapped templates

User view

Once you deploy Office templates, users can see these in the File – New area. This way, all users can utilize the same, standardized and branded templates across the organization. There is no need to send templates by email or sharing them on a file server.

Building Blocks templates eliminate repetitive copy paste and help you release new and updated snippets of documents very quickly across the organization. To refresh the changes, users have to logoff and login again.

Word Templates and Building Blocks

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4 Responses

    1. Hi David, everyone wants an alternative. Content types is one option as I have mentioned. Logically speaking, when an Office 365 account is registered, Office should ask for a template path which it should remember. If it can remember your last editing location in each file, this is a very simple matter. I guess it is work-in-progress.

  1. 1. Open Group Policy MMC, open Admin templates > User or Computer?

    2. Change the setting Enterprise Templates Path> No setting call Enterprise Template Path

    1. MMC – User – Administrative Templates – Microsoft Office – Shared Paths – Enterprise Templates Path

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