A Word template

What actually is a Word template?

Every Word document is created from a very basic template file called Normal.dot. This lives in the default template folder, and there always is one, otherwise Word couldn’t open. Think of the Normal.dot file as the parent of any basic documents you create when you select File, New. That way, you can imagine a link between them. A more elaborate template, maybe with additional programming or a defined set of typographic styles, uses the same link to manage features or to supply these additional macros whenever the user opens one of these related documents.

Word manages all of the template locations for the Office suite.
Word manages all of the template locations for the Office suite.

From a simple fax to a more complex proposal, a template is the ideal starting point for a specific document. It can greatly reduce the time someone takes to complete a document, as well as to offer the user a number of helpful features that manage optional details, like tables and charts.

There are a couple of important things to remember about a template. A template must be installed correctly to work, especially if it has Visual Basic programming or custom menus. The simplest way of finding where to put the template is by looking at the File Locations tab in Options. [Or Preferences, if you’re on the Mac.]

Secondly, don’t open a template directly and select ‘Save as’ from the File Menu, as this will remove any of the automations for the new file. Simply click and drag the template to the right folder.

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