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: Editing a Template.

Editing a Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 29, 2013)

5

A template is Word's guide for how your document and working environment should appear. Templates contain information on the toolbar, menus, macros, styles, default text, and any number of other environmental items. Editing a template is much like editing a regular document; the only difference is that the file is saved with a DOT filename extension (instead of DOC).

To load an existing template so you can edit it, do the following:

  1. Choose Open from the File menu, or click on the Open tool on the toolbar. You will see the Open dialog box.
  2. In the Files of Type pull-down list, select Document Template (*.dot). The filename display will be changed to show only template files.
  3. Select the template file you want to edit.
  4. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (467) 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: Editing a Template.

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

Adding Data Labels to Your Chart

Adding labels to a chart can make the information presented in the chart more understandable. Excel allows you to add ...

Discover More

Correctly Numbering Footnotes in a Chapter

Word is very flexible when it comes to adding footnotes to your document. If you have multiple sections within that ...

Discover More

Storing Building Block Entries with a Document

Building Blocks can provide quite a bit of flexibility and power in a document. If you want to share Building Blocks with ...

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)

Templates and Page Setup

Templates are a great way to share styles, macros, and other settings among various documents. One thing that isn't ...

Discover More

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. ...

Discover More

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 ...

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 one more than 2?

2017-04-13 08:04:04

Savannah Witham

You didn't include any information on what steps to take to actually change something in the template. For instance, I'm using a template I really like, but there's a table on it that I need to be moved over a little bit. Word won't let me click and drag it, so how can I go about doing so?


2017-02-27 21:24:51

Cheryl

Use this link to edit your existing template.
https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Edit-templates-b2cb7adb-aec2-429f-81fd-3d5bd33cf264?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US&fromAR=1


2017-02-15 16:03:38

Marsha Sites

Tim statement is what I am going through.
My template that I am trying to edit, and I use the Replace all method, and when i try to save changes, it only prompts me to SAVE AS, I give it a new name SAVE AS and it still does not change the error.
How do I edit my Template please.


2017-01-05 17:12:13

Tim

This doesn't work at all. It just applies the template to a new document - calls it Document 1. The template is not being edited.


2016-10-24 22:19:37

Alice

I want to edit a template in my Word 2010, but for the template there is no save option in the template, just edit online.


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.