Centralising your companies templates within a document library and setting up a Group Policy for file location in Office 2013.

Centralising company templates and setting up a Group Policy for file location in Office 2013.

Within this blog I will go through the process I had to follow this week to set this up, to accomplish this task you will need privileges to set GPO's and install GPO admin templates on a DC, an understanding and privileges to add a document library within SharePoint. I guess the people who read this post are the people that have a need for this kind of scenario, and use SharePoint as a document management solution for their company, a basic understanding of the DAW\rootWWW UNC setup that is required as you would need this to complete this task, but even if not you should be able to work through the steps and get this setup.


  • You would like to keep all your companies templates in one centralised location and you decide to use SharePoint to do so.
  • You would also like all end users to open up Word\PowerPoint\Excel 2013 and have their default locations mapped to the company templates.
  • You would like to accomplish this via a Group Policy Object

  • First part

  • Set up a document library with in SharePoint and take the file location
  • (this is the web address)
  • Change this to (@SSL is there is you use an SSL certificate with your SharePoint site, remove if you use http)
  • \\\DavWWWRoot\Documents this is the WebDev address that you can use as a network drive UNC path
  • You then try and add this address to file locations within word and you get this message
So at first we thought we could add the UNC path to a GPO so we needed to add the Office 2013 Administrative Template files (ADMX/ADML) from Microsoft to a server that had Group Policy Manager upon. The following steps are how we did this...

Downloading the admin templates from Microsoft

  • Click here for the Admin templates from Microsoft
  • Extract the files to a folder in the root of the cdrive

  • Copy the ADMX files inside the folder and copy them to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions

  • Then copy the files inside en-us folder and copy them to C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US

  • Open Group Policy editor - Administrative Templates and you will see the Office 2013 policy templates

Configuring the Group Policy Object

Now you have the admin templates installed we can set the UNC paths navigate to User Configuration - Policies - Administrative Templates - Microsoft Office 2013 - Shared Paths. You can configure as you wish but the two main file location paths for us was workgroup templates path and user template path.

After we did this and ran gpupdate /force about a million times it did not work, so we did this

  • Mapped a network drive T drive for templates.

And then we changed the workgroup templates path and user template path to T:

So now we have the companies templates located in SharePoint mapped to a network drive and are available every time you open up an office product.

Not stopping now...

But we are not stopping there, for those who are already on and are working with Office 2013 you will know that every time you open up and office application you get the featured templates, very pretty but not practical for corporate environments. So more research needed and we found an article to change the default setting via registry and then we put it into a GPO. This is what we did...

  • Open up your Group Policy Manager

  • Navigate to the registry and add the following

  • You can also do this for excel and PowerPoint will pick up from the word settings.

  • Here is the finished policy

Then let the policies sync and update your machine either by gpupdate /force or restarting the machine. And now when you get into word you will have your company templates as the default tab and also when you go to File new it will show all your company templates.