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The ability to save a document as a template is a powerful feature in Microsoft Office applications like PowerPoint, Excel and Word. If I have a Word document, like my form that I've spent all of this time on, and I open it up and start entering data in it, then I end up with a form that it's filled with data. Every content control has information in it. But what happened to my original form? Well if I'm really smart and I choose File > Save As, and save my form with the entered data with a different name, I can always go back to my original.
But all it takes is a moment of carelessness or some other user to make a mistake and all of a sudden my only copy of the form is filled with data. Templates allow me to save my document in such a way that I will never lose my original. When I choose to save my form as a template, then I create a protected version of the document. Each time a user wants to use the form, they don't actually get to use the template. Word instead creates a copy of the template in a new Word document for the user.
It doesn't matter how many users want to use the template, the template itself never changes. My original form that I've invested time in, that has all those wonderful content controls, is fine. While each user gets a new fresh copy of the template to use that they can fill in, they can make whatever mistakes they want, it doesn't matter; my template stays pristine through this process. Let's switch over to Microsoft Word and see how to save our form as a Template. You maybe remember that when last we saw this form, we had restricted the formatting and editing on it, and you'll want to check that that is done before you save a document as a template.
Now let's click the Office button, go to Save As > Word template. In order to save this template on My Computer in My Templates folder, simply scroll to the top of the folders list and click Templates. Word will automatically navigate to the proper folder for me to find my templates in, and I can then name this form. Now, it's now called PledgeFormProtected because we used it for an exercise, but I'm simply going to call this Pledge Form. That's a great name it's the only Pledge Form that's going to be in this folder, and I'm going to click Save to save my Pledge Form.
Now, the next thing I'm going to do is I'm actually going to click the Office button again and this is my template. I can tell because when I point to it, it says it's C:\Users\ Gini Courter and it shows all the way out at the end it says dotx. That means it's a template. So I want to make sure that I don't accidentally open this because if I do, I'm editing the template again. I can go, if I wish, to Word options and actually clean off this recently used list. But another way to do it is simply to open some other files, work with some other things and let this drop off the list.
When I want to create a new document based on the template I'll simply choose New, I'll choose My Templates and here's my Pledge Form right here. When I double-click, I get a new Document1 based on the Pledge Form. My original Pledge Form, which I've kept here, is protected.
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