In SharePoint it is possible to use content types in document libraries. The advantage is, that you can define content types which have specific properties. A contract has different properties as a proposal. So therefore you create a content type and define the specific columns (metadata). The cool point is, if you are using content types which are from type document, you can also define a word template or other document templates.
So you can create a nice word template with header and logo and now the cool part. It can also reference the metadata from content type into the word document. For example if you choose a department, this value can also be inserted automatically into the word content. And of course vice versa – if you change values in the word content, it also will be updated in the metadata. It also will be saved into the sharepoint columns.
But what do you have to do to set this up?
Step 1: Create a content type
Go to site settings – content types and click on create new site content type. After that you choose your settings:
Step 2: Add some columns
I added existing site columns: language, department and ZIP postal Code.
Step 3: Create a Word template
Open Word. Now you can design your template. I also created a table where i put some placeholders for the three site columns but didn’t insert anything. Just leave a free table cell for them.
Step 4: Connect Word template with Content type
Go into the advanced settings of your site content type (Site Settings – Site content types – your content type).
Upload your word template and click OK. Afterwords it should be inserted and look like this:
Step 5: Add Content type to library
Now we choose a library. I took shared documents. Go into the library settings. Click on advanced settings and allow managing content types.
After that i added my new created site content type and deleted the default “document” content type.
Step 6: Create new Document and connect Metadata
Now go to your library and click on Documents – New Document – Ilikedocs (your content type).
Now we connect the metadata into the word document. So that the metadata will be displayed in the document information panel and in the word file itself. It does not matter where you change the values. Therefore we click into the cell for language and the click on the ribbon “INSERT” and choose Quick Parts and the document property. There you’ll find a list with all document properties which you can choose.
Do the same for the other ones:
as you can see now values from document information panel are displayed in the word content and vice versa.
Step 7: Save Template local
Now save this template again locally on your computer. Important: Save it as template.
Step 8: Upload template to content type
The next step is to upload this template again into the site content type. Therefore go to site settings – site content types – your content type – advanced settings. Now upload your template and click on save. The update will effect all child content types.
Well, let’s have a look at the shared document library.
We can add a new document by using the new document command in the ribbon. Choose your template file. It opens word.
If you insert values into the document information panel or in the word file into the grey selected fields it does not matter. Word saves the values into both. There is in fact a bi-directional connection between document information and of course of the content of the file. If you now save this document into the library, the next cool part will be displayed:
It saves the values also into the library. So if you now only update the properties, it will also be updated in the document itself. How cool is that?
If you think, that way works also in Excel you will soon recognize that it does not! Cause excel does not provide quickparts. I hope it will be available some day!?
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He is Consultant for SharePoint Solutions for collaboration, communication and business processes. He provides his customers applications based on standard features as well as development or combining the power of several microsoft tools like Dynamics CRM. In his free time he tries to collect tipps and worthy experience in this blog.