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Setting defaults for new documents

From: Word 2010 Power Shortcuts

Video: Setting defaults for new documents

A blank document in Word has a default font, font size, margins, styles, and more. If your personal preferences don't match Microsoft Word's basic document, you can change the defaults. There are two ways to do this depending on your needs. If you want every single document from now on to use your preferred elements, you can change the normal .dotx template that every new document is based on. If you want to set the defaults for a specific type of document, take advantage of Word's templates. Let's start by looking at the templates.

Setting defaults for new documents

A blank document in Word has a default font, font size, margins, styles, and more. If your personal preferences don't match Microsoft Word's basic document, you can change the defaults. There are two ways to do this depending on your needs. If you want every single document from now on to use your preferred elements, you can change the normal .dotx template that every new document is based on. If you want to set the defaults for a specific type of document, take advantage of Word's templates. Let's start by looking at the templates.

Maybe I produce different documents with different needs. My reports may require specific spacing, fonts and margins. But my customer service correspondence such as this one also contains letterhead and boilerplate text. So we can use this basic layout to set up our document defaults. Notice some things about this file. My logo and my company name are up in the header, not in the document itself. And my date is set up, so that it automatically updates, that way I won't have to change the date every time I use the file.

Now do a Ctrl+Home to move your cursor up to the top of the document, and I am going to save this as a template. A fast way of doing a Save As is simply to press the F12 key on your keyboard and the Save As dialog box opens, where it says Save as type: Word Document, click on it and pull down to Word Template. Now on some computers, it will allow you to save it where you want to. On others, as soon as you choose Template, it will go to Word's default location for templates. Personally I prefer that, especially from sharing my template with other people.

In this case, it's going to my Exercise Files folder and that's fine, so I'll click Save. Now, close this document and open up Windows Explorer if you need to so that you can see our files. So here you can see our original 01_10_template, but then this one has a little orange bar at the top. And when I hold my cursor over it, it tells me that it's Microsoft Word Template as opposed to the first one, which is a Microsoft Word Document. Now if I double click on the template, it doesn't open the actual template file.

Look at the file name, it says Document1. So this is a completely blank document based on that template and so when I go to save this, it won't overwrite that file, it will create a whole new blank one. And it's already populated with today's date and all of my boilerplate text ready to go. Let's say you want some of your personal preferences applied to every single new document. Let's start with a blank document, hold down the Ctrl key and tap N for New. So we are going to start with a blank file and then customize it.

The default font is Calibri, 11. Let's say I am not a fan of Calibri, 11, I would much rather use Tahoma, 12. I'll click on my Fonts and I can type TA and it will jump me down to the bottom of the fonts list and there's Tahoma. If it wasn't Tahoma that I wanted, I could scroll down a little bit further. But I'll go ahead and click on Tahoma. And then I'll change my Font Size to 12. Go up to the Font group and click on the launcher button in the right-hand corner, and here I can see Tahoma, 12.

In the bottom left-hand corner, there's a button that says Set As Default, I'll click on it and it gives me a choice, do I want to make this change for This document only or All documents based on the normal template, which will move it into the future, and I'll choose that second option and click OK. Now that same Set As Default button can be found in many windows, such as the Paragraph dialog box. So I'll go up to the Paragraph group and click on the launch button in the corner. Now Word 2010's defaults are different than they were in Word 2007.

By default you have a 10 point paragraph space after and your Line spacing is 1.15. At first people aren't used to it and they don't like it and so your instinct may be to just come in here and change it automatically, but I actually recommend sticking with the new defaults for a little while and see if you get used to it, before you take this step. Let's say I'm in school and all my documents need to be double-spaced. Maybe, I'll change the Line spacing from 1.15 to a Double space and then I'll click on the Set As Default button, again it asks This document only or All documents based on the normal template, and so I do want to edit the template, so I'll click OK.

Now if you want to permanently change a document's margins, for example to accommodate your preprinted letterhead, go to the Page Layout tab, click on Margins and go down to Custom Margins. I'll make my Top Margin 2.5, so that my printing will always start lower on the paper and my preprinted letterhead will look wonderful. I'll do the same thing, click Set As Default. Now this time my dialog box looks a little different, but I'll go ahead and say Yes. And notice now my cursor jumps down 2.5 inches. Last but not least, let's go to the Home Ribbon and maybe you don't like the default heading style and you'd like to change that.

Right click on it and then click Modify. I'll change my color of my heading from blue down to red. And at the bottom of this dialog box, we have the same choices, again it just looks a little different, Only in this document or New documents based on this template, I'll select the second option and click OK. Start a blank document again from scratch, hold down the Ctrl key and tap N. I'm in a new document. Notice that it defaults at Tahoma, 12, my cursor is starting 2.5 inches down and my heading is red automatically.

So if you spend time with every single new document setting it up to your individual needs and personal taste, instead create a template or change the default normal .dotx template, you'll never have to repeat your setup again.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Word 2010 Power Shortcuts
Word 2010 Power Shortcuts

74 video lessons · 13827 viewers

Alicia Katz Pollock
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 39s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Using the exercise files
      48s
  2. 44m 45s
    1. Selecting text for formatting
      7m 0s
    2. Mastering the Navigation pane
      3m 53s
    3. Using the Reveal Formatting pane
      4m 47s
    4. Clearing formatting
      1m 38s
    5. Adjusting paragraph spacing
      4m 58s
    6. Setting tabs using the ruler
      5m 59s
    7. Inserting horizontal lines
      3m 39s
    8. Using AutoCorrect to create abbreviations
      2m 12s
    9. Working with the text wrap features
      4m 58s
    10. Setting defaults for new documents
      5m 41s
  3. 4m 59s
    1. Opening recent files
      3m 2s
    2. Changing the AutoRecover settings
      1m 6s
    3. Changing the default saving location
      51s
  4. 6m 23s
    1. Using KeyTips to select Ribbon commands
      3m 18s
    2. Using keyboard shortcuts and function keys
      3m 5s
  5. 6m 48s
    1. Splitting the screen
      2m 12s
    2. Navigating with Browse by Object
      2m 35s
    3. Using the Go To tab in the Find and Replace dialog
      2m 1s
  6. 25m 50s
    1. Inserting random boilerplate text
      44s
    2. Selecting paste options
      4m 2s
    3. Inserting today's date
      2m 41s
    4. Using Click and Type
      45s
    5. Using Overtype mode
      2m 4s
    6. Cutting to the Spike
      2m 48s
    7. Using advanced Find and Replace techniques
      8m 0s
    8. Editing the dictionary
      2m 53s
    9. Refining grammar options
      1m 53s
  7. 38m 22s
    1. Marking inconsistent formatting
      1m 22s
    2. Applying theme colors vs. standard colors
      3m 30s
    3. Hiding text
      1m 56s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      6m 3s
    5. Working with AutoFormat
      4m 36s
    6. Typing symbols with AutoCorrect
      1m 30s
    7. Inserting nonbreaking spaces
      1m 16s
    8. Inserting diacritical marks
      2m 38s
    9. Creating drop caps
      1m 31s
    10. Inserting and removing hyperlinks
      5m 33s
    11. Refining OpenType text features
      4m 5s
    12. Replicating font formatting
      4m 22s
  8. 20m 33s
    1. Adding first-line indents
      3m 23s
    2. Controlling line and page breaks
      5m 59s
    3. Mastering columns
      5m 21s
    4. Inserting line numbering
      3m 7s
    5. Vertically centering a cover page
      2m 43s
  9. 10m 15s
    1. Modifying a heading style to include a page break
      2m 21s
    2. Using multi-level numbering in heading styles
      3m 15s
    3. Saving style modifications for future use
      3m 5s
    4. Assigning a keyboard shortcut to a style
      1m 34s
  10. 9m 24s
    1. Adding captions to tables, figures, and charts
      3m 28s
    2. Using advanced table features
      5m 56s
  11. 20m 29s
    1. Using a drawing canvas
      2m 50s
    2. Creating transparent colors and removing backgrounds
      4m 1s
    3. Editing clip art
      3m 5s
    4. Cropping a picture with a shape
      2m 24s
    5. Aligning, distributing, and grouping graphics
      3m 24s
    6. Compressing images
      4m 45s
  12. 5m 16s
    1. Inserting text from a file
      1m 4s
    2. Linking Excel objects
      4m 12s
  13. 32m 13s
    1. Setting up odd and even pages
      2m 27s
    2. Formatting page numbering for different document sections
      4m 16s
    3. Inserting bookmarks
      3m 6s
    4. Inserting cross-references
      4m 14s
    5. Customizing a table of contents
      4m 21s
    6. Creating citations and a bibliography
      4m 18s
    7. Using a style reference in a header
      3m 41s
    8. Mastering Outline view
      5m 50s
  14. 12m 48s
    1. Saving ink and paper when printing
      3m 46s
    2. Printing a booklet
      2m 28s
    3. Printing document metadata
      1m 8s
    4. Updating fields before printing
      3m 27s
    5. Embedding fonts in the file
      1m 59s
  15. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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