SharePoint Document Information Panel cannot create a new, blank form


The document information panel in Microsoft Word is a great way to enter metadata for documents stored in SharePoint 2007/SharePoint 2010. Especially the combination with content types and Word Templates is a great way to make it easy to start new documents in SharePoint. But when you are changing columns in the contenttype when you have already assigned a Word Template you can run in to trouble.

You will probably get errors like “The document information panel was unable to load” or “Document Information Panel cannot create a new, blank form”

After some research I have found a pretty simple solution to this problem.

Go to the Document Type Advanced Settings

Click Edit template

In Word, go to File

Click on Inspect

Click on Remove All behind Custom XML Data

Save the template and close Word.

You’re all set. The template will not anymore throw an error when creating new documents and the document information panel will load successfully.

Disable Check Out To Local Drafts Folder


When checking out documents from SharePoint get a pop-up window with the option to “Use my local drafts folder.” Using the local draft option can potentially cause issues with the check-in and check-out process. Changing the default on this pop-up cannot be performed within SharePoint. It is a behavior specified by the local Office client.

To change the drafts folder default options you have two options

Configure locally on client

This option needs to be configured for every single client.

  • Open Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010
  • Go to the Word Options (Office Button > Word Options)
  • Under the “Save” section, change the “Save checked-out files to” option to “The web server” (Office 2007) or “The Office Document Cache” (Office 2010)

Configure for all users (within AD domain)

This will configure the setting using the group policies.

  • In Office 2007 this can be done by configuring the following entry in the registry using group policy:
    Key: [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Common\Offline\Options]
    Registry Value Name: Local
    Registry Value: 0 (DWORD)
  • In Office 2010 this can be set using group policy templates:
    Category: Microsoft Office Document Cache
    Policy: Check-out to local disk
    Associated Registry Key: [software\policies\microsoft\office\common\offline\options]
    Registry Value Name: UseLocalDrafts
    Registry Value: 0

After a logoff or gpupdate a client should not use the local draft by default.