Starting with a Different Template

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 19, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


When you first start Word, it creates a blank document based on the template Normal.dot. What if you wanted to start Word with a different template? For instance, let's say you wanted Word to always start and open with a blank document based on a template named OurCompany.dot instead of Normal.dot. Further, the OurCompany template is stored on the D: drive, in the MyTemplates folder. To cause Word to use this template for blank documents on startup, you would follow these steps:

  1. Using the desktop browser (Windows, not Word), display the folder containing the shortcut used to start Word.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut icon. This displays a Context menu for the shortcut.
  3. Select the Properties option from the Context menu. This displays the shortcut's Properties dialog box.
  4. Click on the Shortcut tab. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Shortcut tab of the Properties dialog box.

  6. At the end of the Target field, add the following: /t"d:\mytemplates\ourcompany.dot" (If there are quote marks surrounding the text in the Target field, makes sure you place the new information outside the quote marks. Also, make sure there is a space before the /t.)
  7. Click on OK.

Now, whenever you start Word, it starts with a document based on OurCompany.dot.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (859) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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. ...

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