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Deploy a custom default theme for all Office 2016 applications

    Question

  • I have created a new custom theme with colour and font specifications and want to deploy it for all users in a company. This is what I found out so far: 

    Word

    • Link the theme to a new blank normal.dotm and distribute it to %UserProfile%\Documents\Custom Office Templates
      UNLESS another location is specified in the interface, check HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\General\UserTemplates to find that out 

    PowerPoint

    • Doesn't use a default Blank.potx anymore, create a new theme and save as default, results in default theme.thmx in subfolder Document Themes

    Excel

    • Found no way to set a default blank template with the correct theme applied I tried to connect the theme to a workbook and saved it as book.xltx in either Custom Office Templates and xlstart folder. Both didn't work.

    Questions

    • It seems that the location of the theme files depends on the location of Word's normal.dotm. If I modify the location of User templates in the interface of Word and try to create a new default theme in PowerPoint, it ends up in a subfolder under the User Templates location of Word. This does not seem logical to me.
      Where do I store both the default theme.thmx for PPT and default company theme.thmx for Word and Excel so that it is available for all users?
    • How and where do I need the book.xltx so that it is available as the blank workbook in the start screen.
    • What am I missing about using and deploying themes? I would think it is the number 1 question for all companies who want all blank documents in all apps to be in their company branding. Then why does it seem so difficult to archieve this? I could not find one article at all on the MS site which describes this from a company point of view for PPT AND Word AND Excel. I assume I missed it. Where can I find it?
    BTW this company has employees working in both Dutch and English versions of Windows 10 and Office 2016
    Wednesday, January 03, 2018 11:57 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    As far as I know, there is no easy way to set a custom template as default for Office programs. You can put it in the workgroup templates folder and then users can select the custom templates from the workgroup templates folder via File > New > Custom.

    If you need to use it for default font and color, you'll need to set it up on a user by user basis.

    Regards,

    Steve Fan


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    Friday, January 05, 2018 8:39 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Astrid,

    Any update on this thread?

    Regards,

    Steve Fan


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they helped. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnsf@microsoft.com.


    Click here to learn more. Visit the dedicated forum to share, explore and talk to experts about Microsoft Teams.

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:16 AM
    Moderator
  • Did you try the steps from below link

    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178976%28v=office.14%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

    • Create template
    • Create thumbnail and preview pics
    • Customise XML file 
    • Update registry key for applications to read the XML file to add templates to the applications.


    With Regards Shree

    Tuesday, April 03, 2018 12:29 PM
  • Hi Steve,

    I know all about workgroup templates. This is not what I meant with my question. 
    Microsoft created themes and personal templates. I was/am interested in a foolproof method of deploying themes (and if necessary personal templates) in such a way that they can be used as the default personal templates not a custom one in the workgroup templates folder.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2018 2:46 PM
  • Hi Shree,

    Thanks for your reply.
    Unfortunately these steps relate to how templates are visible in File New as far as I can see.
    They have no influence on how a custom brand theme can be deployed in a way that effects all personal templates.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2018 2:48 PM