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Microsoft Word 2003

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. Word offers templates as a guide for creating readable, uniform documents. For example, blank Word documents are 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 s, text, graphics, macros, and styles. For information on macros, refer to Working with Macros. For information on styles, refer to 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. Although most Word documents are based on Word's Normal template, built-in templates for a variety of functions are available, including the following:

You can create documents using these basic templates as they are, or you can modify them to better suit your needs. For more information about using built-in templates, refer to Choosing a Word Template.

UW-Eau Claire Templates

Some University departments have developed templates for campus-wide use. Some 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 access to these templates when using Word from campus computers, contact the LTS Help Desk (36-5711; helpdesk@uwec.edu). Additional templates are also available on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire website for departments such as Accounts Payable and Office of University Research.

Custom Templates

If you have formatting that 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 formatting and settings. The new template can then be saved with Word's other templates and accessed each time you want to use the custom format. For more information, refer to Customizing an Existing Template or Creating a Custom Template.

return to topChoosing a Word Template

  1. From the File menu, select New...
    The New Document task pane appears.

  2. From the New Document task pane, under Templates, click ON MY COMPUTER...
    The Templates dialog box appears.
    Templates dialog box

  3. Select the desired tab

  4. Select the desired template

  5. Click OK
    The template is applied to your new document.

return to topCustomizing an Existing Template

If you like the overall style of an existing template but would like to make just a few changes, you can customize the template to 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 template file, the original template will be permanently changed.

Modifying the Original Template File

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

  2. From the Files of type pull-down list, select Document Templates (*.dot)

  3. Using the Look in pull-down list, locate and select the template file you want to modify
    NOTE: The location will vary depending on your computer setup. Generally, templates are located in C:\\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033.

  4. Click OPEN

  5. Modify the template by adding the desired text, graphics, and formatting to be included in the modified template

  6. From the File menu, select Save

Creating a New Template File Based on an Existing Template

  1. Open a Word template

  2. Modify the template by adding the desired text, graphics, and formatting to be included in the new template

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

  4. From the Save as type pull-down list, select Document Template (*.dot)

  5. In the File name text box, type the desired filename

  6. Using the Look in pull-down list, select the desired save location
    NOTES:
    The template will be saved in the default templates directory.
    For more information, refer to Template Locations.

  7. Click SAVE

return to topCreating a Custom Template

If you have formatting that 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 formatting and settings.

  1. Create or open the file containing the formatting and settings to be included in the custom template

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

  3. From the Save as type pull-down list, select Document Template (*.dot)

  4. In the File name text box, type the desired filename
    NOTES:
    The template will be saved in the default templates directory.
    For more information, refer to Template Locations.

  5. Click SAVE

return to topSharing a Template

To share one of your templates with others, save the template to the workgroup area or copy the template to a disk. The template should be stored in the Workgroup Templates file location by copying it to the template directory using Windows Explorer. For information about Windows Explorer, refer to Explorer Basics. For more information regarding template locations, refer to Template Locations.

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