SharePoint: Connect to Office for New Document Creation

There are often times where document libraries and lists in SharePoint are composed of files that were derived from an Office Template.  There are many times where these files must be created on a pretty frequent basis.  SharePoint 2010 facilitates this routine behavior with the Connect to Office drop down menu.  It is a pretty handy feature that we plan on using with many of our Document Libraries and Lists.

What is the Connect to Office button used for

The Connect to Office drop down menu in SharePoint is used to connect a SharePoint Document Library or List to Office 2010 applications for new document creation from a template.  It functions very similar to navigating to the Document Library through SharePoint and clicking the New Document button, except the actions are all performed in your Microsoft Office 2010 Application.

Prerequisites for Connect to Office

In order to use the Connect to Office drop down menu, a few things must be in place.

  1. SharePoint 2010 & Microsoft Office 2010 are needed for this option to be available, otherwise it will be greyed out if using Office 2007.
  2. MySites are needed to facilitate the link between the logged on SharePoint User and the Workstations User Profile.

MySites must be configured with the Use Personal Features permission turned on.  You can enable this by going into the Central Administration Console, click on Manage Service Applications, click the link for the User Profile Service Application, and select Manage User Permissions.

How to utilize the Connect to Office Feature

First prepare a document template to be uploaded to the SharePoint Document Library or List.  Save it to the URL for the Document Library, but include Forms at the end.  (Ex. http://test.org/sites/SiteName/DocumentLibraryName/Forms)

In your SharePoint site, navigate to the Document Library or List and select Library => Library Settings from the top ribbon.  Then select Advanced Settings.  Modify the Document Template field by replacing template.docx with the name of template you uploaded.  Click OK when you have finished.

Once you have returned to the Document Library, you can navigate to Library in the ribbon and select Connect to Office or click the drop down arrow and select Add to SharePoint Sites.  You may be prompted to allow the MySites to connect to your profile. Then you should see the following:

NOTE:  If you do not see the Library Added message popup, then your MySites permissions are probably not configured as suggested above.

Now you can open your Office 2010 application.  Navigate to File => New and you should see your SharePoint Document Library added to the templates list.  You can select this to create a new document based on the template you uploaded to the SharePoint Site earlier.

Once you have finished modifying your new document, you can go to File => Save As and your Office 2010 application will automatically save to your SharePoint Document Library.

 

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