This browser does not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's intended design. May we suggest that you upgrade your browser?

Microsoft Word 2004

Working with Templates

You can save time and effort by creating new documents using templates designed to format a specific type of document. If you create many similar documents, templates save time by formatting the page to predefined settings, allowing you to start writing immediately. Word features a variety of built-in preset templates that can be used immediately, or altered to meet your custom needs. You can also create new templates that function as a custom design for frequently used documents. This document provides instruction on using and customizing built-in templates, and creating new templates.

return to topWhat is a Template?

A template is a document with preset formatting and settings that acts as a basic structure for a document. Many programs offer templates as a guide for creating readable, uniform documents. For example, when you open Word, it starts with a blank document based on the Normal template, which uses the following preset options:

Unless you specify a template when beginning a new document, Word automatically bases documents on the Normal template. Other templates use modifications of the above features and may include different page margins, text, graphics, macros, and styles. For information on macros, refer to Automating Word with Macros. For information on styles, refer to Word Styles: An Overview.

return to topTypes of Templates

There are two basic types of templates in Word: built-in templates and custom templates.

Built-in Templates

Built-in templates provide a preset structure for several common types of documents, including memos, reports, and business letters.

You can create documents using these basic templates as they are, or you can modify them for more efficient use. Although most Word documents are based on Word's Normal template, there are built-in templates for a variety of functions, including:

UWEC Templates

Some departments at the University have developed templates that many individuals on campus may be interested in using. Some of the current templates include a Purchase Requisition form, an Employee Performance Review form, a Request to Hire form, and documents with a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire banner. If you do not have these templates when accessing Word from campus computers, contact the LTS Help Desk (836-5711; helpdesk@uwec.edu). Additional templates are also available on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire web for departments such as Accounts Payable and Office of University Research.

Custom Templates

If there is a format you use frequently in your work, but that is not offered in Word's collection of preset templates, you can easily create a template using your own formatting and setting selections. The new template can then be saved with Word's other templates, and accessed each time you want to use the custom format (refer to Creating New Templates).

return to topChoosing a Word Template

  1. From the File menu, select Project Gallery...
    The Project Gallery dialog box appears.
    Project Gallery dialog box

  2. Select the New tab

  3. From the Groups list, select the desired category
    HINT: If the category has sub items, click the arrowCollapsed Arrownext to the category. The arrow turnsExpanded Arrowand the sub items are listed.

  4. Select the desired template

  5. Click OPEN
    The template is applied to the layout and format of the new document.

  6. OPTIONAL: To save,
    1. From the File pull-down list, select Save As...
      The Save As dialog box appears.
    2. In the Save As text box, type the template name
      HINTS:
      To help you locate the file in the future, use a descriptive filename.
      Word will automatically add a .doc extension.
    3. From the Where pull-down list, select the desired save location
      HINT: Your personal home directory is generally your username$.
      EXAMPLE: DOEJANE$

return to topCustomizing an Existing Template

If you like the overall style of an existing template but would like to make a few changes, you can customize the template to more efficiently meet your needs. To do this, you can either modify the template file or create a new file closely based on the old template.

WARNING: If you modify the file, the original template will be permanently changed.

Modifying the Original Template File

  1. Open the desired .dot file

  2. Modify the template by adding the text, graphics, and formatting you want to use in every document created with the altered template

  3. From the File menu, select Save
    The template is saved with your changes applied.

Creating a New Template File Based on an Existing Template

  1. To open a template,
    1. From the File menu, select Open...
      The Open dialog box appears.
    2. Locate and select the original .dot file
    3. From the Open pull-down list, select Copy
    4. Click OPEN

  2. Modify the template by adding the text, graphics, and formatting you want in every document created with the altered template

  3. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  4. In the Save As text box, type the desired filename

  5. From the Format pull-down list, select Document Template

  6. From the Where pull-down list, select the directory where the template will be saved

  7. Click SAVE

return to topCreating a Template

If there is a format you use frequently in your work, but that is not offered in Word's collection of preset templates, you can easily create a new template using your own format and settings.

  1. Create a file that contains the elements and settings that you want included in the template

  2. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  3. In the Save As text box, type the desired filename

  4. From the Format pull-down list, select Document Template

  5. Click SAVE
    The template will now be stored with the other Word templates.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.