Wednesday 11 November 2015

SharePoint Online 2013 - ContentTypeHub Issues with Word Templates

ContentType Hub Issues with Word Templates

Recently we had an issue at a client, when using Document Content Types to Propagate a Word Template to Sub-Sites.

What would happen is after we create the content type and publish it, we would see the created content type in the folder structure of the sub-site. But clicking on it, to open the document, it failed.

Clicking "New" gave the option of creating a new document from the content type template. In this case, TestDocContentType

Instead of opening the Word Document in the editor, it gave the option to create a new document (This should NOT happen)  I typed a name and clicked on "OK"

After clicking "OK" this error popped up and the document was not opened.

We did allot of troubleshooting trying to figure the issue out, as it worked for Excel Templates, but not Word. Eventually we logged it with MS Online Support. First level support could not resolve the issue either, so it was escalated to second level support where help was found!

What seemed to be the problem (Specifically for Word Templates) is that for some or other reason you can no longer specify a relative URL to the location of the document template, for example The system will change it into a relative URL (./sites/contenttypehub/wordtemplate.docx)

This ALWAYS worked!!

Specifying a relative URL when creating a content type

The method that should be used (Specifically for Word Templates) is by uploading the Word Template directly to the content type.

Upload Template directly to content type

After uploading and publishing the content type (The Publishing frequency is another sore point for me. There is just no info available on exactly when the publishing jobs run. According to this article, it may take up to 48 Hours to propagate, which i find rather ludicrous. I was lucky and it took about 2 hours before the published templates was available.

This case the Project Initiation Document was selected that was uploaded to the content type in previous steps

The document template then opens successfully!

 Below is the feedback i got from the support engineer. Note the "By Design" in inverted commas. To me, it would seem like this is "Broken by Design", but you will see MS is looking at "Enhancing" (Fixing) the issue

Engineer's feedback

I hope this may help some of you sorting out this issue. Just to re-iterate again, Excel Templates work when specifying the relative URL, not WORD templates


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