#Office 365, #SharePoint 2010 : Creating New Excel & PowerPoint Files from the New Menu Dropdown

This question was posted on the forums this week and I wanted to take a few minutes and map out the process so that others who are just getting started would have some steps to follow.

Here is the business problem we are looking at:

In SharePoint online when I click on new document I only get an option to add a word document.  Shouldn’t there be an option for excel and PowerPoint as well?  I can add one if I create it with the real office client, but I want to create it in the browser.  Is this possible?

Basically, what we want is for our users to be able to easily create new PowerPoint or Excel documents from a document library.

In SharePoint this is accomplished through the use of Content Types. If you want to read up on content types, I suggest you look at these two links to get started.

Through the rest of this blog I will be completing the steps to solve the very specific question above. Content Types are very powerful however, so use this blog post as a way to get familiar and then hopefully continue to develop custom content types for your organization.

Step 1: Create the two Content Types

For each content type we create we can associate a custom template. In our example we will be creating a custom excel template and a custom PowerPoint Template.

  1. Open the desired application and build your templates. Save the templates in a location you can reference them later. In our example, our templates will be empty.

  2. Now, we will need to create the content types in SharePoint.
    1. Access the Site Settings Menu

    2. Open the Site Content Types Gallery

    3. Create a New Content Type

    4. When you select OK you will be taken the management screen for the content type. On this screen click the link to open the advanced settings.

    5. On this screen we will associate the Custom Template with the Content Type. We do this by uploading the template we created in step 1.

    6. Now, repeat step 2, this time for the PowerPoint template.

Step 2: Associate the Content Types with the Library

Now that our content types are ready, we need to associate the Content Type with the Library we are using. We do this by accessing the Libraries Settings Page.

  1. Go to the List Settings Menu

  2. Open the Advanced Settings for the List.

  3. Allow the List to Use Custom Content Types

  4. Once you do this, you will see a new section called Content Types on the List Settings Page. From this section, we will add the Custom Content Types to the List.

  5. Now, when you access your document library you will see that you have 3 templates available.

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