Monday, 3 November 2008

Enabling the Word 2007 Developer Tab in the Ribbon to Always Show the Document Information Panel (DIP) When Opening a Document

Last Friday I went to a special Perth SharePoint User Group presentation hosted by William Cornwill of Microsoft. The presentation was excellent and provided a nice overview on Custom Content Types, Templates and Document Information Panel interaction between SharePoint and Word 2007. Awesome presentation!

One question that came up in the user group presentation that a number of people wanted answered was –

"How do I always force the Document Information Panel to show on opening a document"

I had some trouble with this a few weeks ago until I figured out that you can add the Developer Toolbar to Word 2007 which provides the facility to configure quite a lot in the document.

I came across this excellent blog post by Andrew Coates also another Australian Microsofty like William Cornwill – and just like William, Andrew presented at the Perth SharePoint UG a few months ago.

So to enabled the Developer Toolbar in Word following the steps in Andrew's post :

Enabling the Word 2007 Developer Tab

You basically go into Word 2007 options to enable the Developer tab in the Ribbon – fairly simple but it took me AGES to figure this out until I came across Andrew's blog.

After enabling the Developer Tab follow these steps to always force the Document Information Panel to show, click on the Developer Tab and then click on the last icon – Document Panel.

And then tick the Always show Document Information Panel on document on open and initial save checkbox to always show the DIP.

Its as simple as that! If you tick that checkbox and save the word document – and then use this word document as a Content Type template in a SharePoint Document Library – then every time a user creates a new document or opens a document they will be presented with the DIP showing.

UPDATE: You need to set this in the Content Type's settings page, there's a link to Document Information Panel Settings.

See -

The developer tab has a bunch of other useful goodies you can play with one of which is adding various content controls such as Picture content controls.

Another important function of the developer tab is Formatting quick parts. Have you ever wanted to change the date format of a Date Quick Part? Add a Quick Part to the page that is based on a Date and you get it formatted as dd/MM/yyyy.

With the quick part selected switch to the Developer tab and click the Properties button in the Controls section of the ribbon

You then have the following options available for configuring this Quick Part (Content Control).

Click Okay – and you now have applied a format to your Date Quick Part ! Other options available such as the Content cannot be edited forces users to always updated the DIP instead of the word document. Ie. By default users can type into quick parts/content controls in a word doc and changes are reflected in the DIP – with this option set users must edited this content in the DIP.

Another fine blog post on Andrew's blog that helped me recently is –

Linking Word 2007 Content Controls to Custom XML

Andrew gives a nice overview of how to make use of the Word 2007 Content Control Toolkit to manipulate custom XML stored in a word document, the tool allows you to add ANY custom XML to a document and then bind it to a Content Control.

Finally in summary I came across the following EXCELLENT resource if you are implementing this sort of advanced document management in SharePoint –

Using Office Open XML Formats to Support Electronic Health Records Portability and Health Industry Standards

By the Ted Pattison Group – if those guys are involved then you know this is going to be top class.

And the Visual Studio Solution for the article is downloadable here -


Harish Mathanan said...

Hi Sezai,

With this option, do we have to set it on all MS Office Client Application? (Eg: User's PCs)

I've set it on a template, but when I open the doc from another PC with the option unticked I still don't get the DIP by default unfortunately. Your advice/sugestion on this would be helpful.

PS: Congratulations on your MVP mate, must have been an awesome rush. Are you still on a Microsofty high :)? Apologies for not wishing you at the SUG, I did not know how you looked, sorry.

Sezai Komur (MVP) said...

Have a look at this -

It seems as though there is this option in the Content Type's Settings page

Yeah MVP still hasn't sunk in yet mate! I saw your photo from your twitter profile on your blog, so I will try and say hi next time.

Harish Mathanan said...

Hi Sezai,

Thanks for the links, much appreciated.

Stephen Muller said...


Thanks for the link back to my post, I hope it makes sense to users. Good to see you helping out so much on the OZMOSS list.

Stephen Muller