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Thread: Group templates

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    Group templates

    I need a good explanation of the need to setup group templates. I believe they are to set group policy for fonts, papers, margins styles etc but I am having a battle with my IT Manager over this!
    cheers

    Phil Carter

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Workgroup templates? We use those to share "forms"; rather than copying them to each PC whenever there is an update, we simply point our Workgroup folder to a shared folder on the server.

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Workgroup templates are essential for sharing / standardizing forms. See http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...ffice.10).aspx

    Normal.dot should never be shared.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Templates - in general - are to create a basic document or form that is used repeatedly. Workgroup templates are they same but are to ensure that everyone uses the same layouts, fonts, company logos, signatures, etc. The more automation added to the template, the more time the company will save entering the same information again and again. Automation can be from a simple CreateDate field (enters a locked, formatted date when a new document is opened from the template) all the way to User Forms that the user completes to auto-fill information throughout the new document before editing starts.

    Usually, the Workgroup folder is on the server and all the File Locations settings for Word users should have the Workgroup option pointing to that folder. However, if you have workers who work off line on occasions, you can install them locally and use off-line sync to refresh any new or changed templates when they log-in to the server next time.

    The more users, the more time and money that can be saved.

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    Thanks for that
    Pretty much how we do it. We have previously, 2003, created a company normal.dot which contains standard styles, fonts, formatting page layout etc and a toolbar to generate standard forms and letters. Users who carry out evaluations and are required to generate reports have another toolbar that allows them to insert pages, move pages renumbered pages and finalise the report. Other users are required to generate special documents that require specific formatting, they have another , separate toolbar for this special formatting. These company normal.dot files have resided in the word starup folder and each user has their own normal.dot for special formatting and autotext entries.
    However, we are in the process of moving our users from Office 2003 to Office 2010 and have come across the following.
    We copied our company normal.dot file into the Users\Public\Templates folder in 2010 and could not figure out why Word kept reverting to the MS standard set up, noticeable by the Calibre 11 font being standard. On investigation we found that our normal.dot file had been renamed to normalold.dot and a new file created! No matter what we have done we could not get Word to recognise our normal.dot files. Someone suggested we rename the normalod.dot and delete the current normal.dot file.
    Success, we thought. Unfortunately, this then disabled all the macros attached to the toolbars no matter how we had the trust centre set up. Not much use really!
    It has been a very frustrating exercise.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated
    cheers

    Phil Carter

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Try re-saving your old normal.dot as normal.dotm in the appropriate location. Hopefully that will not get overridden.

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    Thanks Jefferson

    Tried that first!
    cheers

    Phil Carter

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Try custom Add-In instead of standardizing normal

    Rather than lock in Normal, consider one or more separate global templates. These can contain your customizations. See the templates article I referred to earlier. See also http://word.mvps.org/faqs/macrosvba/OrganizeMacros.htm. Your old toolbars can still show up on the addins tab in Word 2010.

    Keep at least one installation of Word 2003 unless you are good at generating custom toolbars using vba. Word 2010 lets you customize the ribbon but has nothing to let you build toolbars and menus manually.

    Your problems with keeping modifications to normal.dotm are likely caused by an errant add-in. A recent one showing up is a pdf writer that comes preinstalled on some hp computers. See the thread http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/o...d-351ebac59860 for a lengthy discussion with solutions. See http://word.mvps.org/faqs/customizat...sInstalled.htm. In Word 2010 look in the Developer tab for the two Add-ins buttons.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2011-08-29 at 11:20.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Just to add on to the advice that's already been given:

    The architecture you're describing isn't really ideal. Each user's Normal.dotm should be left alone as much as possible.

    If you need the equivalent of a company-customized "Blank" document then that should be provided as a separate template from Normal.dotm. Put all of your company-specific customizations into that "OurCo_Blank" template and make that available to users. Similarly for generating standard forms and letters: the simplest approach is to have separate templates for each separate type of form and/or letter that needs to be produced.

    You may or may not need a separate global template, depending on how much you want to customize Word's tools. Any functions or tools that are meant to be used across all types of documents, can go into the global template. (And any customizations that are specific to a specific type of document, should go into the template for that type of document.)
    If you're going to upgrade your templates with toolbars to Word 2010, you really should try to move the custom toolbar functions over to custom Ribbon controls - there are third-party tools that make this relatively easy.

    As to the location of the templates, as TerFar advised, you can have the templates in a folder on the network and have each user set up to point to that location as the Workgroup templates location, or else you can push the templates out to each user's local directory. Similarly for any global template.

    Gary

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Frieder View Post
    Just to add on to the advice that's already been given:

    The architecture you're describing isn't really ideal. Each user's Normal.dotm should be left alone as much as possible.

    If you need the equivalent of a company-customized "Blank" document then that should be provided as a separate template from Normal.dotm. Put all of your company-specific customizations into that "OurCo_Blank" template and make that available to users. Similarly for generating standard forms and letters: the simplest approach is to have separate templates for each separate type of form and/or letter that needs to be produced.

    You may or may not need a separate global template, depending on how much you want to customize Word's tools. Any functions or tools that are meant to be used across all types of documents, can go into the global template. (And any customizations that are specific to a specific type of document, should go into the template for that type of document.)
    If you're going to upgrade your templates with toolbars to Word 2010, you really should try to move the custom toolbar functions over to custom Ribbon controls - there are third-party tools that make this relatively easy.

    As to the location of the templates, as TerFar advised, you can have the templates in a folder on the network and have each user set up to point to that location as the Workgroup templates location, or else you can push the templates out to each user's local directory. Similarly for any global template.

    Gary
    Agreeing w/ everything Gary said... The reason you might want to push templates to local drives is that when they are shared directly on a server they cannot be edited when anyone is using them. You can get around this by doing editing on a copy and rewriting during off hours but that requires that all of your users log off from Word during those off hours. Pushing is accomplished by a log-in script that copies network files to a local drive.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    I agree with the other. You cannot and should not try to share normal.dot(m). That file is solely for the user to make local changes to their own installation. For example, a user may prefer a totally different layout for the Ribbon because they find 'their layout' more logical and can work faster.

    The company Workgroup templates should be called something completely different such as companyname.dotm. Write protect it to stop users from changing it accidentally (or deliberately).

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