Just to comment on the PDF thingy fast... You cannot update the PDF attributes, only Card variables can be updated.
You can not trigger a template to run via a workflow transition. Templates are designed to be run by a user. However, you can write an addin that can do the same actions (create folder structure and files) or you might be able to do this using Dispatch.
In order to write information into Excel or Word you have to have EPDM variables and map them to the file properties. This will not work for data that is static text. You will need to create a variable and associate it with an Edit box that has a default value set to <Logged in user>. This is explained in detail in the Administrator Guide.
Arto's reply is correct about PDF files.
Thanks for replying. Thank you for the info. One thing that is baffling me, is why would the Template cards work on one machine, but not another? In other words, the CustomProperties are not working on my colleagues' computer on a replicated server...