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: Changing the Attached Template.

Changing the Attached Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 20, 2015)


In Word, a template is used to specify the menu options, the toolbar, and the default styles and text. When you first open a blank document, Word automatically attaches the template to your document, although you can specify a different template. After the file has been created, you can change the attached template by following these steps:

  1. Select Templates and Add-Ins from the Tools menu. Word displays the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Templates and Add-Ins dialog box.

  3. Click on the Attach button. Word displays the Attach Template dialog box.
  4. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the template you want attached to your document.
  5. Click on Open. The Attach Template dialog box disappears, and the name of the template you selected appears in the Document Template box.
  6. Select the Automatically Update Document Styles check box to make sure that the styles in the template are applied to your document.
  7. 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 (1799) 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: Changing the Attached 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. ...


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What is four less than 8?

2016-06-21 18:07:32


My issue is that the item I select in "Checked items are currently loaded" never remains checked. However, the path in the Document Template field remains.

2015-04-21 23:27:24

Russell Cairns

In Word 2013 I have edited the Normal.dotx template as regards font, margins & justification but a new document still opens with all the original settings. How can I change this?

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