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    Word looks for document template in wrong location (Word 2010/2013)

    Hi folks,

    We do medical writing for several clients. Two of these clients use the same document template (Author.dot), but one of the clients has customized theirs with slightly different styles.

    I keep one of the Author.dots in each user's User Template folder and the other one on a share. We've noticed that (at least sometimes) we'll tell a document to use the one on the share in the Templates and Add-Ins dialog, but when we click OK Word reverts back to using the one in the User Template location, thus messing up the custom styles.

    What is the best way to deal with this situation? I've already been told that I can't rename either of the Author.dot files (we send these documents back to the clients for review and they insist on keeping the name). Should I not be placing either of the templates in the User Template folder? Should I be putting one in the Workgroup Templates location for our company and the other in the User Template location?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.

    Beej

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    What is the template's location on the client's computer?
    If you can have it in the same location on yours you are likely to get the best results.

    Alternatively, you could load their templates with different names as global templates and use a macro to copy the appropriate styles into the document being edited.
    A Global StyleSheet in Microsoft Word?
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    The one I keep local (User Template location) is the same path the client uses so when we transfer documents back and forth it's seamless (on their end anyway).

    C:\StartingPoint Templates\

    It seems like Word always looks to that location first; if it finds a template with the name it's looking for it chooses that one rather than the location I specified. It makes me wonder if Word has a heirarchy of template locations.

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Then, I would suggest either the global template that can import styles (see link) or swapping the templates in the location the documents will be using to search.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Word looks in four different places for the attached template. If it finds a template with the same filename in any of these locations then it stops looking any further
    1. The User Templates directory (see File > Options > Advanced > File Locations)
    2. The Workgroup Templates directory (see File > Options > Advanced > File Locations)
    3. The same directory as the document
    4. The filepath for the attached template as shown in the document settings

    Later Edit: This order is not correct - Refer to Charles's subsequent posts in this thread for the correct order of implementation.
    Last edited by Andrew Lockton; 2015-02-05 at 18:28. Reason: After seeing Charles' test results
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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  7. #6
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    In Word 2013 I am getting attachment first to a template in the same directory and if none is found to one in the User Templates Directory. I haven't checked out the rest.

    This is true even if the document was originally attached to (even created from) the template in the user directory. That is, it will ignore the template that was attached when the document is saved if there is one of the same name in the same folder as the document. This surprised me. At some point I expect I will study this behavior in the various versions of Word and document it in my page on templates.

    The setting for attached template changes as well.

    In Word 2013 if there is a template of the name for the attached template in the same folder as the document, Word will not attach to a different template of that name in a different folder.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-02-04 at 23:04.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    If you can put the template in the same folder as the document, it should work, at least in Word 2013. See my earlier posts.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Further results in Word 2013.
    • If there is a template with the same name in one of the preferred locations (1-3 below), it does not matter what the original attached template was. Any previous attachment will be lost.
    • You cannot attach a document to a template of the same name in a location further down the hierarchy or not in the hierarchy.
    • If there is not a template of the same name in one of the hierarchy locations, then attachment will be maintained if the template is there.
    • If there is not a template of the same name in one of the hierarchy locations, you can change the attached template to a different template in a different location.


    The hierarchy for attaching templates when there is more than one of the same name seems to be:
    1. A template in the same folder/directory as the document.
    2. A template in the user templates folder
    3. A template in the workgroup templates folder
    4. Any other location (including subfolders)


    Further notes:
    • The Custom Office Templates folder does not show up in this hierarchy. A template of the same name as the attached template will be disregarded when in this folder if a template in the hierarchy is available. That is, it is not an automatic attachment location and will be pre-empted by a template of the same name in one of the hierarchical folders.
    • Sub-folders of the folders in the hierarchy are not automatic attachment locations.


    I do not recall this being the way things worked in earlier versions and will have to test. I do not know what happens when you create a new document based on a template that has the same name as a template further up the hierarchy before you close it. (perhaps next weekend)
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-02-05 at 00:33.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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  11. #9
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsjustBeej View Post
    The one I keep local (User Template location) is the same path the client uses so when we transfer documents back and forth it's seamless (on their end anyway).

    C:\StartingPoint Templates\

    It seems like Word always looks to that location first; if it finds a template with the name it's looking for it chooses that one rather than the location I specified. It makes me wonder if Word has a hierarchy of template locations.
    I put forth the hierarchy I've found for Word 2013 in my last post. If there is a template with the name Author.dot in any of these locations, Word will ignore your trying to point it elsewhere and will override the original attachment. That is, say you create a new document using the Author.dot template located in your Documents folder and save it, when you reopen it, it will attach to the Author.dot template in your User Templates folder and you will not be able to attach it back to the one in your Documents folder so long as the one in your User Templates folder exits with the same name. (This is true so long as your new document is not saved directly in your Documents folder, which otherwise would be the first level of the hierarchy.)

    Again, this is for Word 2013. I have NOT looked at any of the other versions and expect that Andrew's hierarchy is correct for them. Word 2013 changed things on a number of background items that don't likely matter much to most users but puzzle the heck out of me.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-02-05 at 00:30.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Further note. Tested in Word 2010, 2007 and 2003. Same hierarchy and behavior as Word 2013. No Custom Office Document Folder test.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-02-05 at 09:03. Reason: added 2007 and 2003 tests
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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  14. #11
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    I have preserved these test results in my page on Templates.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Charles, I've been on this board on-and-off for years. This was one of the most useful series of posts I've ever seen.

    I've also been training people on and supporting Word for decades and this is the first time I've ever seen this hierarchy explained. Goes to show that even when you think you know what you're doing there are probably gaps in your education.

    Thanks.

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    Charles
    Thanks for doing the comprehensive testing and showing us the results.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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