Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
Templates are basically the foundation upon which you build your document?the design, styles, macros, and even some beginning text are all stored with the template. Having an understanding of templates will help you build frequently used documents more easily. Use the following articles to get the hang of managing templates in Word.
The following articles are available for the 'Templates' topic. Click the article's title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.
Adding Individual Styles to the Template
One of the things you can store within templates are styles. When you use styles, it is critical that you understand how they can be added to a template so you can use them in a lot of different documents. Here's the way to make that addition.
Batch Template Changes
Changing the template associated with a couple of documents is easy, but what if a whole directory needs to be changed? These macros will do it very quickly.
Changing the Attached Template
Templates, when attached to a document, can greatly affect how that document looks. You can change from one template to another at any time, as described in this tip.
Continually Saving Normal.dot
If your Normal.dot file is continually saved when you exit Word, even when you haven't made any changes to it, the culprit could be other programs you have operating on your system. This tip explains what you can do to help track down the problem.
Creating a Boilerplate Document
If you have several boilerplate documents you need to routinely use in Word, then you should learn how to use templates. They can provide just the functionality and flexibility you need.
Creating a Letterhead Template
Word is often used to write all sorts of letters. You may want to create a template that makes creating your letters easier than ever. Here's how you go about it.
Determining the Template Attached to a Document
If you've opened a document in Word, that document has a template attached to it. This tip looks at what those templates do and shows you how you can figure out which template is actually attached to the document.
Disappearing Macro Menus
Word is quite versatile in how you can customize it. You can add all sorts of macros to menus, but doing so may cause problems down the road. For instance, what do you do if your menus suddenly disappear? This tip discusses possible causes and how you can deal with this problem.
Editing a Template
Editing a template can be as easy as editing a regular Word document, provided you know where to find the templates. Here are the steps you need to follow to open and make changes to your templates.
Finding Where Templates Are Stored
The first step in modifying templates is to find out where they are stored on your system. Here's the easiest way to figure out that information from within Word.
Fixing Persistent Template Corruption
If your document templates often become corrupted, there are a few things you can try to relieve the situation. Here are the ideas.
Getting Rid of Persistent Templates
Word uses an open interface that allows add-ons and other programs to expand the way that Word works. Sometimes remnants of a removed program can remain behind in Word, causing problems. This tip discusses how you can search for an remove any vestiges of the old program from Word itself.
How Word Treats Normal.dot
Templates are at the core of how Word creates and formats documents. From the earliest days of Word, the most basic of templates is the Normal.dot template. How it is handled in some versions of Word is explored in this tip.
Inserting the Template Name in Your Document
Templates are a powerful part of the Word experience, as they allow you to create and format documents based on patterns. Every document has an associated template, and you can insert the name of that template in the document itself by using a special field designed for that purpose.
Listing the Settings in a Template
Templates allow you to define and collect many formatting settings that control how your documents appear. Getting a report of what settings are stored in a template is not an easy task, however.
Managing Corporate Templates
Templates are used to store styles and lots of other customizations that affect how you use Word. On a single-user machine, managing templates isn't that hard. In a corporate environment, however, you need to be concerned with managing templates so that you can protect the work that went into creating them.
Opening a Template
If you have a template stored on disk, you can open it and make changes to it just as you do other documents. This tip explains, in detail, how to open a template file.
Preventing Changes to Styles in Documents
Have you ever created a template only to have the styles within it changed as they were used within a document? Here are some ideas on how to prevent this from happening.
Protect Your Document Templates
If you want to protect your templates from accidental changes, the best way to do so is by using Windows instead of Word. This tip provides step-by-step instructions on how to make a template read-only, so it can't be changed.
If you spend a lot of time getting your document styles set "just right," you don't want to take the chance that they will be corrupted through regular editing tasks. As this tip explains, the best way to protect your styles is to make sure you only paste plain text in your document.
Recovered Document becomes Default
Word has a feature called AutoRecover that helps you when Word or Windows crashes. If your Normal template gets messed up for some reason by a recovered document, you may long for a way to get things back to the way they were. Here's some ideas to help.
Recovering Macros and AutoText Entries from Normal.dot
Many of your custom configurations of Word—most notably macros and AutoText entries—are stored in the Normal.dot template. When you try to move these entries from one system to another, you could run into problems. This tip explains what to do if trying to transfer macros and AutoText entries causes your system to hang.
Saving a Preview with Your Template
Templates provide a collection of styles and boilerplate for new documents. Selecting the right template by filename only may be a problem if the filenames are not descriptive. Word allows you to save a thumbnail view of the template's first page in the template to simplify making a selection.
Starting with a Different Template
Don't want Word to start by using the Normal.dot template? This tip explains how to start using a different template.
Template Changing On Its Own
When you attach a template to a document, you expect that template to stay attached. When you share the document with others, however, it may be possible for the template reference to change, as discussed in this tip.
Templates and Page Setup
Templates are a great way to share styles, macros, and other settings among various documents. One thing that isn't shared through templates, however, is page setup. If you want to have this shared, you'll love the macro presented in this tip.
Templates are used to store a pattern for how a document should look. As such, they can be a very powerful tool for creating new documents in Word.
Updating Many Template References
Documents rely on templates. If you change the location of those templates (on purpose or by accident), Word can take a very long time to open the documents that reference those templates. Here are some ideas on how you can change template references in a large number of documents.
What Changes Did I Make In that Template?
When you make changes that affect a template, Word usually asks you if you want to save those changes when you exit the program. If you see such a question and you don't remember making changes, then you should be wary.
Word Won't Take 'No' for an Answer
If you choose to exit Word and it asks you if you want to save changes to your Normal.dot template, it can be very confusing if Word refuses to take "no" for your answer. This tip examines this problem and proposes some possible solutions.
Working on Shared Templates
In many companies it is common to have standard templates accessible through the internal network. If you have templates being used by dozens or hundreds of people, it can present a challenge when you need to update those templates. Here's some ideas you can apply.