We just migrated from DOCs OPEN and under that system, there was a very useful feature whereby you could mark a document as a template in the DMS and when anyone attempted to open it, a dialog would pop up asking if they wanted to "Use the Template" or "Edit the Template". If you answered "Use the Template" a copy of the template document was opened and could only be saved as a new document. If you answered "Edit the Template" the template itself was opened for editing. Rights for who could edit the template document could also be set. For Word documents, there was no need to even save the file as a template (.dot) file because the DMS handled the whole process.
As far as I can tell, the only workaround for this feature in NetDocuments (at least for Word documents) is to open and re-save each template document as an actual MS Word template file (.dot). This will force a copy to be opened when you access the file in NetDocuments (with BTW no notice from NetDocuments that a copy is being created - I would also like NetDocuments to let me know when I'm getting a copy and not the original document). However, in order to actually edit the template itself I believe you would have to download it, edit it and then upload it back to NetDocuments overwriting the previous copy or saving it as a new version of the previous template document - a much more cumbersome process and requiring the conversion to the .dot file format (which may or may not be available for all types of files). We experimented with using rights to restrict access, but found this to be unsatisfactory because NetDocuments simply ignored any attempt to access the documents with no type of error message, leaving the user in the dark as to why they couldn't access the document and often thinking that the interface had frozen (another suggestion would be to provide a notice if access to a document is denied for insufficient rights rather than just leaving the user hanging wondering why nothing is happening when the click on a link to a document).