Office applications crashing with SharePoint Content Types and Document Templates


The scenario I had set up was, a few content types with different site columns assigned to the content type. (Single Line of Text, Ratings and Managed Metadata). Each content type also had a document template assigned to them.

The content types were then added to a document library list. When I click the New button on the list menu bar, I’m presented with a choice of documents I can create.

On my environment I was using Office 2013, and opening each one didn’t cause me a problem. The Document Information Panel (DIP) was there, my Presentation document template loaded correctly.

However when my clients tried to open any of the document templates it crashed. It appeared to crash just as the Document Information Panel attempted to load. They were using MS Office 2010, perhaps that was the problem?

It wasn’t. As I tried to open the same document on numerous of other PC’s that had either MS Office 2010 or MS Office 2013, none of them had a problem. The client had a few different people attempt to open the document templates and they all had MS Office crashing on them.

Going back to basics, I decided to create a basic content type with just single line of text columns and use the same document template. This loaded no problem in the clients MS Office 2010, the document information panel was there and the document saved back to the SharePoint Library. Therefore only difference then between the two content types were the columns.

Working with the client, I removed a column from the content type one at time and got them to open the Document Template. It turns out that after all Managed Metadata columns were removed the document open OK. This was great that I worked out the problem, but this wasn’t a solution, I needed the Managed Metadata columns to be there. I did a bit of searching on the internet, and many forums were pointing people in the direction that there are two version of Microsoft Office installed on the PC’s that are crashing.

The guys I were dealing with were working with SharePoint 2013 a lot, and turned out that they had SharePoint Designer 2013 installed. When SharePoint Designer 2013 is installed so is a bunch of Microsoft Office 2013 dlls. These Shared Dlls get registered and override some of the Office 2010 dlls.

Solution

The solution is a simple fix, (maybe not if you have to do it to everyone in your company), basically you need to either upgrade everyone to 2013 or get the PC’s with Office 2010 to repair the install. This will re-register the dlls for 2010 correctly and the Document Templates will open correctly. (SharePoint designer 2013 will continue to work)

To repair your Office 2010, on the PC go to Control Panel > Program and Features. Click on MS Office 2010, and then on the menu bar Click Change. Then select Repair. Once the repair is complete you will need to restart your PC, and afterwards you will be able to open Document Templates with Managed Metadata columns.

Final thought

Even though MS Office 2010 is very old now, and less people will probably encounter this issue, there is a chance that this issue could resurface for people when MS Office 2016 is released.

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