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TECH TIP:  
Create a Document Template in Microsoft Word
 

Document Templates in Microsoft Word are a special type of Word document.  Document templates are useful when you want to set up a document which contains information that you want to appear each time you open the document. 

 

The most obvious example of this would be a letterhead.  You can create a letterhead and then save the letterhead as a template.  To use the template with the letterhead information on it, you simply click on the File menu and then click on New.  In Word 2003, a pane appears on the right side.  In the Template section, you click on the link that says “On my computer…” and you will see templates that were created most likely not by you (unless you knew about this Tech Tip and created some templates on your own.

 

The Microsoft Word gurus have created a lot of templates already for you.  When you go to the templates “On my computer…” you will see the template categories…General, Legal Pleadings, Letters and Faxes, Mail Merge, Memos, Other Documents, Publications and Reports.  Now if you don’t see a template you are looking for, you can find more templates by clicking on the “Templates on Office Online” link.

 

OK – so the object of this Tech Tip is how to create a template of your own. It’s really quite easy – just follow these steps

  1. First, create the Word file like a letterhead, that you want to save as a template.  Be sure it is exactly the way you want it to appear each time you open it. 
  2. When you are ready to save it, click on the File Menu and click on Save As
  3. At the bottom of the Save As window, you will see Save as type.
  4. Click on the down arrow in that Save as type box and then click on Document Template (*.dot)
  5. Click on Save

That’s it.  You just created a Word document and saved it as a template.  This template is saved in a special folder called Templates.  This folder is hidden deep within your Documents and Settings folder

 

You should close the template file you just created and then you can open it again by clicking on File -> New-> templatesOn my computer…”

 

When you open the template, it opens as an untitled Word document (a .doc file).  This is a regular Word file.  With this Word document, you can never erase or delete anything in your original template you created. 

 

Don’t quit reading yet!  If you decide that you want to change something in your template, you can make the changes and save it again as another template.  But – beware – you must give it a new name.  You can’t overwrite the original template.  I usually just add the number 2 (or 3 or 4.....etc) after the original name.  After you save it with a new name, you can delete the original template doing the Save As command again and selecting the Document Template (*.dot) in the Save as type box and then right-clicking on the one you want to delete and selecting Delete. (Did you get all that?)

 

OK – try your hand at creating some templates

 

Want to learn more about templates?  Here’s a couple good sites to learn from.

 

http://addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm

 

http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart1.htm

 

 

 

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Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

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