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Using Templates, Creating Templates, and Editing a Template

A template determines the overall structure of a document and can include text, graphics, styles, macros, etc. When you start a new document by clicking on the New button on the Standard toolbar, it is based on the Normal template. To use the other templates included with Word:

  1. Choose New from the File menu. 
  2. Click on the tab in the New dialog box to select a category. (Blank Document on the General tab creates a document based on the Normal template). 
  3. Click once on a template or wizard icon to see a preview in the New dialog box. 
  4. Click OK to create a document based on the template you selected.

Note: Some templates (and wizards) that appear in the New dialog box may not be installed. Word will ask you for your install CD the first time you try to use one of them. To create your own template:

  1. Create a "reusable" document. 
  2. Choose Save As from the File menu. 
  3. In the Save as type box, select Document Template (*.dot). 
  4. Click on the Save button. Word will automatically save the template in the Templates folder. It will appear on the General tab (where you see Blank Document).

You can also create a folder for your templates:

After step 3 above, click on the New Folder button. 

The name you choose for your templates folder will appear as a tab in the New dialog box.

Editing templates: To edit an existing template, you have to locate the original template document. Templates are not usually not stored with your other documents. To further complicate matters, the location of the templates folder varies. There can even be more than one location for storing templates. In addition, the location of the templates folder varies depending on whether or not your computer stores profile information for different users. In Windows 2000 and XP Professional, you probably have your own profile. One easy way to find where a particular template is stored is to use the Windows Find Files command (Start > Find > Files or Folders). Search for the file name, including the .dot extension. Once you locate the template, you can open it, make your changes, and save it again.


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