Adding Template Tabs in File New


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We look at how to add Template tabs into Office’s File New dialog boxes.

One tip that I’ve been meaning to publish for many months now has to do with those confounding tabs in Office’s File New dialog boxes.

Most of you know that you can specify two different locations for templates that appear when you click File | New. (More specifically, in Office XP, you have to click File | New, then over on the task pane, under New From Template, you have to click General Templates. In Office 2003 you have to click File | New and then, over on the task pane, click the line under Templates that says On My Computer. This is progress.)

At any rate, the File New dialog box, once you find it, contains various tabs that Office creates, combined with folders that you put in your Office Templates folder (to see the location of the folder, click Tools | Options | File Locations and look at the User Templates entry), also combined with folders that you put in your Workgroup Templates folder (click Tools | Options | File Locations and look at the Workgroup Templates entry).

There’s a quick, easy, and very useful way to put new tabs in the File New dialog box that point to locations anywhere on your computer or on your network. Sharon Fry wrote to me with the details:

“If you store templates in another location, you can still have them appear in the File | New dialog. This is particular useful for workgroup situations so you only have to maintain one set of templates for everyone’s use.

“Simply place a Shortcut to the folder containing your templates into the “User Templates” or “Workgroup Templates” folder listed in Tools | Options | File Locations. For example:

“Say your company templates are in E:XYZCoFilesXYZCoTemplates, and your Workgroup Templates file location is C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoftTemplates. Open the Templates folder (Application Data folder may be hidden). Select File | New | Shortcut and enter E:XYZCoFilesXYZCoTemplates as the location of the item (or Browse to it). Click Next. Type in a name for the Shortcut (this is what will appear on a Tab in the File | New dialog). Click Finish and close the window.

“You should now see a new Tab in Word’s File | New dialog with the name you entered.”

It’s a very cool trick that saves me all sorts of time.

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REMOVING FILE NEW TABS

If you don’t want to see the (utterly bogus!) tabs that Office uses by default – “Legal Pleadings”, “Memos”, “Other Documents” – all you have to do is search the Registry and get rid of the keys.

Andrew Lockton wrote to me ages ago with this note:

“The simple answer is these templates and their tabs can be removed by deleting the relevant registry key. I’ve done this on several machines without any ill effects. On my Office XP machine the registry key is located at HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerComponentsC6BD1954B293F2C40998508A5A1ADE85 but the key is different on my Office 2000 machine.

“The process of finding the right registry key is to open the registry editor (click Start | Run, type regedit and press Enter) and do a search for a string (Edit | Find) with the same name as one of the tabs, such as “Leading Pleading”. When the registry editor finds it you will discover why you don’t want to edit these values or roll your own. That said, you don’t need to be a MS engineer to delete the relevant entry. Just delete any entries that you don’t want for tabs.”

 

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