Document types are stored in the db in Umbraco, and are therefore not so easily copied between umbraco-installations (for example between dev and live server). But, luckily there’s a very conveniant way : just right-click and Export to a .upd-file, then right-click and Import it on the other site. The udp’s are simple xml-files and can be edited as such. Easy copy properties between document types and / or search and replace stuff. Important: changing document type properties will destroy data saved with the properties.
Document types can be arranged in a master-child-way, in which one can reuse a set of properties and tabs in several document types. That is a conveniant method, but it also includes a bit risk, since it makes the child document type less editable. And that can be quite a mess if a customer (or you) suddenly has a need of changing some property that is inherited.
A small wish-list for document types in future versions of Umbraco:
- hide and/or disable document type properties for certain users. There’s an excellent package for disabling already,
- change document type for an existing document, copying values from properties with the same names,
- override properties in child document types, to be able to change description and perhaps name for that property (with the same alias as a parent type).