Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
However, what if you needed a document library that supported more than one kind of
document template? Sure, you can upload multiple different types of documents, but I am talking
about having multiple types of New Document options under the button so users will have the
option to choose between a set of templates you control for that library. What I’m talking about
here is content types, and libraries can easily have more than one.
What do you do if you don’t have an existing template but would like to customize the blank template
for the library? Click the Edit Template link under the Document Template field in the Advanced
Settings page of a library. This will open the template in its corresponding Office product, where
you can customize it to your heart’s content. When you are done, save it. The changes will be saved
to the template file for the library in the library’s Forms folder. This means when you next use the
New button in the library, it will create a document from your new and improved template.
Using Content Types
Content types are basically templates for standard list or library items. The item properties you
can specify in a content type include the fields of the item, the template that might be associated
with it, and even what kind of workflow works with that item.
Content types are stored in a gallery for the entire site collection. So if you create a content
type to be used for a particular library, it’s actually available to be used in a different list or
library elsewhere in the collection.
Because content types are general item templates available to the whole site collection, the
fields they use must be available to the whole site collection as well. Therefore, if you want to
add a field to a content type, it must be available, or created, as a site column (which you worked
with in Chapter 7, “Creating Lists”). Site columns are available from their own gallery and can
be used anywhere in the site collection.
Earlier, I mentioned that you can define a library by its template. This means that when you
click the New button, a library will always create new documents that use its associated
template. However, content types allow a library (or list) to have more than one template or list item
type available under the New button.
A good example of this would be a library that contained documents for a project and also
presentations for that project. Because the library would be focused on the materials necessary
for the project overall, it would need to contain templates for both the written project
documentation (Word 2010) and the project slides (PowerPoint 2010).
To create this scenario, you enable content types in the library’s properties, which will disable
the single template association. Then add the content types appropriate for your library. Many
of the content types for existing default list and library items are already in the content types
gallery. So, it is easy to use an existing content type as a base and customize it a little to work in
your new list or library.
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