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Saving a Preview with Your Template

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Saving a Preview with Your Template.

You already know that Word allows you to save your own document templates. These files, saved with the DOT filename extension, are blueprints for documents you want to create in the future. When you click on New from the File menu (or click File | New and then click On My Computer in the New Document task pane) you can see a list of templates available for creating your new document. In the left side of the dialog box are the templates, and at the right side is a preview of what that template will look like.

You may have already noticed that some of your templates do not have a preview available in the dialog box. If this is the case with your template, and you want to have a preview available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Choose Open from the File menu, or click on the Open button on the toolbar. This displays the Open dialog box.
  2. In the Files of Type drop-down list at the bottom of the dialog box, choose Document Templates.
  3. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and open the template file for which you want the preview saved.
  4. With the template loaded, choose Properties from the File menu. This displays the Properties dialog box for your template file.
  5. Make sure the Summary tab is selected.
  6. Select the Save Preview Picture check box at the bottom of the dialog box.
  7. Click on OK to close the Properties dialog box.
  8. Click the Save tool on the toolbar, or choose Save from the File menu.

At this point you can close the template file. Now when you choose New from the File menu, your template should have a preview available.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1138) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Saving a Preview with Your Template.

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