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Creating a Boilerplate Document

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: Creating a Boilerplate Document.

In Word, a template (at its simplest) is a guide for how a document should appear. You can use templates to store boilerplate documents, such as forms or contracts. When you open a new document based on the template, all the boilerplate information is in place and ready to use. To create a boilerplate document, do the following:

  1. Create a new document that is based on the template you want used as the basis for your boilerplate template.
  2. Choose Save As from the File menu. Word displays the Save As dialog box.
  3. In the Save as Type pull-down list, make sure you select Document Template (*.dot). This ensures your document is saved as a template.
  4. Enter a new name for your template, and select where it should be saved.
  5. Click on Save.
  6. Make your changes to the template, making sure to enter any boilerplate text desired.
  7. Save your work before closing the template file.

That's it; you've now created your template. When you want to use it, simply create your new document based on this template you just created. Your new document will contain all the boilerplate text you entered in step 6.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1360) 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: Creating a Boilerplate Document.

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Comments for this tip:

MDoncaster    05 Apr 2012, 22:09
Saving as a template means that, if you ask word to start a new document. It will automatically create a copy to work on, and the template is unharmed ready to be used again.

To use a memory analogy;
Template = ROM (Read only memory)
Document = RAM (Volatile memory)

R. Scott King    05 Apr 2012, 11:15
Still not sure how saving a document as a template (*.dot)differs from simply saving the document as a document (*.doc), for example in a "forms" directory.

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