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

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 19, 2016)

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

Protecting Headers and Footers

If you don't want the information in a header of footer to be changed by users of your document, there are a couple of ...

Discover More

Copying Fill Color in a Table

You may spend some time getting the color in a portion of a table just right, only to be faced with the task of copying ...

Discover More

Table Won't Flow to Second Page

Have you ever created a table that never seems to flow to a second page, even when it should? This could be caused by any ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

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. ...

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}] 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 2 + 9?

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.

Newest Tips
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.