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We would like to be able to collaborate on documents and ensure that the same template is found and used by Word on whatever machine is being used to edit it. We also would like updates to the template to be synchronized among all the collaborators.

We thought we could do that by storing the templates on a SharePoint folder (sync'ed using OneDrive) and specify the URL to that folder. The problem is that when we use an URL to specify the template we wish to attach (like this):

https://xyzcorp.sharepoint.com/Shared%20Documents/Company%20Templates/XYZtemplate.dotx 

Word changes it to something like this:

D:\OneDrive\XYZCORP\XYZTeam Site - Documents\Company Templates\XYZtemplate.dotx

i.e., it converts it into the locally mapped sync'ing folder for OneDrive/SharePoint and that's what it stores in the document file. That works fine on that machine, but...

On a colleague's machine where SharePoint is sync'd, for example, to her C: drive, or a different path on her D: drive, it won't work.

An alternate solution I've considered is to create a reserved location on every collaborator's machine for storing templates, e.g.,

C:\XYZ Templates

Although not strictly required, it's safe to assume every machine will have a C: drive. The problem is that this folder must be manually maintained. When a template is updated, it has to be manually propagated to all the machines where the documents may be edited.

Is there a simpler or more straightforward solution?

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My recommendation is to put the workgroup templates masters in a shared network location. Then have the network login update a local workgroup templates folder that is in the same location on all computers.

Sharepoint does not work well with Word templates, I'm sorry to say.

Alternative:

Set up all your computers so that the SharePoint folder is mapped to the same drive letter.

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  • Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, we do not have a "shared network location" and "network login". Rather we use SharePoint to share all documents. Incidentally, I think you have it backwards when you say "Sharepoint does not work well with Word templates". Actually it seem to be Word that does not work well with SharePoint-stored templates. Thanks. Still looking for a workable solution...
    – yosh m
    Dec 1 '21 at 8:44
  • I've added a non-trivial task as an alternative in the answer. Here is my webpage on templates in Word, specifically the part about Workgroup Templates. addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm#Workgroup Unfortunately, it does not deal with Sharepoint servers. Dec 1 '21 at 21:09
  • thanks, again. As I wrote in the original post, mapping all PCs' SharePoint folder to the same location is not really possible. Some users map to C:, which is the only drive they have. Some (like me) map to D: because C: is a relatively small SSD and D: is a massive drive where I can keep local copies of everything I need.
    – yosh m
    Dec 13 '21 at 19:55
  • Another idea that just came to me: I suppose we could use SUBST to create a virtual drive on each computer that would hold the templates - maybe I'll experiment with that. Of course, then we'd need to set up our outsourced suppliers (e.g., writers, graphic artists, translators) with the same virtual drive. Not impossible...
    – yosh m
    Dec 13 '21 at 19:55
  • I have not mapped drives for a while, but I recall mapping to fictional W: or Z: drives where the real storage was a folder on another drive. Dec 14 '21 at 3:56

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