Create SharePoint Content Types (and associate templates)

In this blog post, we are going to talk about Content Types, and how they can help your users, as well as keeping things organised and visual.

Whenever users are uploading their documents into SharePoint, sometimes you wish they were all the same format so you know at a glance what you’re looking at. Creating Content Types with associated templates can help.

The process is valid for SharePoint Server & SharePoint Online (at the time of writing: Dec. 2017)
I also have a post on how to Create Content Types in SharePoint Online using PowerShell PnP if that’s what you’re looking for.

Or if you prefer to watch videos, you can browse my YouTube channel, or watch directly how to create content types in SharePoint 2010 (same process)


Create a template to be used

First of all, we need a template that we will use in our library. So let’s create a (very) basic “Expenses Report” based on Excel.


Example of Expenses Report


Create the Content Type(s)

Then, log into your SharePoint Site Collection (root), click Site Settings, and under the section Web Designer Galleries, click on Site Content Types.

  • On the Site Content Types page, click “Create” at the top
  • Give the content type a name (i.e.: Expenses Report)
  • Give the content type a description (optional)
  • Under Select parent content type from, select Document Content Type (if you wish to inherit the columns of that content type)
  • Under Parent Content Type, select Document
  • Choose to put this new content type in an Existing group or a New group (can be useful for easy search later on…)
  • Then click OK

You will be redirected to the properties of this new content type.


Associate the template with the new Content Type

It’s now time to upload our Expenses Report template based on Excel that we created earlier.

So, on this Site Content Type page (remember we’ve been redirected to the properties page of the newly created content type), click on “Advanced settings


Under the Document Template section, choose Upload a new document template, and click Browse to the location of your “Expenses Report” document.


When finished, click OK at the bottom of the page.


Allow Content Type Management

So that’s our new content type created, and its template uploaded.
Next will be to allow the management of content types in our document library (off by default), and add the Expenses Report content type to the library.

  • Navigate to your document library where you wish to add this Expenses Report
  • On the ribbon, click the Library tab
  • Right hand-side, click on the Library settings icon
  • Click on “Advanced settings
  • Select “Yes” under Allow management of content types


Click OK at the bottom of the page.


Add the new Content Type

Now that we allow content types to be added, we see a new section showing up called “Content Types”, where only “Documents” is visible (if a user click on Files >> New Document on the ribbon, only this “Document” content type is available by default).

Let’s change that by clicking on Add from existing site content types.

On the Add Content Types page, you can search through the list for our Expenses Report. Or if you have created a custom group, select your custom group in the drop down menu, and the Expenses Report should appear.


  • Click Add
  • Click OK

Now the Expenses Report content type is available for users when they wish to create new documents on this library.



Navigate to the document library, click on Files on the ribbon, and see the new content type!



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