How to Create Microsoft Word Templates

Content
  1. Create your own Word templates to save time, but plan ahead
  2. What is a template?
  3. Schedule a Word Template
  4. Save your new template
  5. For Word 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010
  6. For Word 2007
  7. For Word 2003

Create your own Word templates to save time, but plan ahead

If you regularly create documents that contain the same specialized format but do not contain the same text, you will automate the process and save a lot of time by creating a template in Word. Examples are invoices, packing lists and forms.

The instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2007, 2003; and Word for Office 365.

What is a template?

A Microsoft Word template is a Word document that contains a specific format such as boilerplate text, macros, headers and footers, as well as custom dictionaries, toolbars, and AutoText entries. These elements are present every time you open the template and cannot be changed, even if the document text changes. You can open the template as many times as you want.

Schedule a Word Template

Before you create a Word template, make a list of features you want to include in it. The time you spend planning will save you time and hassle later.

Here are some tips on what to include:

  • Text that is always in a document.

  • Formatting such as columns, margins, tabs, footnotes, and footnotes.

  • Macros for automating tasks.

  • A date field that is automatically updated every time the template is opened.

  • Address and contact details.

  • Margins or AutoText for information that changes, such as page number, document title, or file path in headers and footers.

  • A placeholder for text with specific formatting, such as font size. Consider using descriptive words such as TITLE or INTRO as placeholders.

Once you have an overview of all template elements, create a prototype in an empty Word document. Add the listed items and adjust accordingly.

Save your new template

After you’ve finished prototyping your template, save the document as a template.

For Word 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010

To save a Word document as a Word template:

  1. Go to File

  2. Select Save as

  3. In the dialog box Save as in the text box file name enter a descriptive name for the template file.

  4. Select drop-down arrow Save as type and select word pattern

  5. The file path changes to the default template location. Templates in this folder appear in the Templates dialog box when you create a new document from a template. However, you can choose a different folder if you wish.

  6. Select Save

For Word 2007

To save a Word document as a Word template:

  1. Press the button Microsoft Office

  2. Select Save as Word Templates

  3. In the dialog box Save as to save the template in the default templates folder under Recommended links select Templates † This is the recommended folder because the templates in this folder appear in the Templates dialog box when you create a new document based on the template. However, you can navigate to a different folder if you wish.

  4. In a text box file name enter a descriptive name for the template.

  5. Select Save

For Word 2003

To save a Word document as a Word template:

  1. Select File Save as

  2. In the dialog box Save as in the text field file name enter a recognizable name for the template.

  3. Click the drop-down arrow Save as type and select Document Template

  4. The file path changes to the default template location. This is the recommended folder because the templates in this folder appear in the Templates dialog box when you create a new document based on the template. However, you can navigate to a different folder if you wish.

  5. Select Save

Your document is now saved as a template with a .dot or .dotx file extension and can be used to create new documents from that.

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