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: Understanding Templates.

Understanding Templates

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 29, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


A template is nothing more than a pattern used by Word to describe how your document looks and how you interact with the document. Templates contain formatting information, a style sheet, macros, toolbar and menu modifications, and boilerplate text.

In Word, templates all end with the DOT extension (this stands for DOcument Template). If you want to create a template, you follow these steps:

  1. Start a new document.
  2. Make your changes to formatting, macros, and the toolbar and menus.
  3. Save with Document Template (*.dot) selected in the Save As Type drop-down list.

That's all there is to it. Generally, selecting Document Template in the Save As Type drop-down list will move you to your templates directory. However, you should make sure that you save your new template file in the same directory with all your other template files. That way it will be available for future use.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (466) 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: Understanding Templates.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Forcing Manual Calculation For a Workbook

If you have a large, complex workbook, you may want to make sure that it is always calculated manually instead of ...

Discover More

Converting Automatic Numbering to Manual Numbering

The automatic numbering that Word lets you apply to paragraphs in your document can create some great looking content, ...

Discover More

Repeating Table Captions with Modifications

Captions can be a great addition to items in your document such as figures and tables. If you want modifications in those ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

Saving a Preview with Your Template

Templates provide a collection of styles and boilerplate for new documents. Selecting the right template by filename only ...

Discover More

Batch Template Changes

Changing the template associated with a couple of documents is easy, but what if a whole directory needs to be changed? ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two less than 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

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.

Videos
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.