Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Best practices for template creation, part of Word 2013: Templates in Depth.
- Let's talk about best practices for creating templates in Word. First in terms of content we've already removed the dynamic text that changes from one iteration of the template to another, and replaced it with placeholders as needed and we provided some instructions or some comments. For example, the instructions directly below the table or the comment in the summary provide a brief executive summary of project activities. You can also insert a review type of comment, include a new comment with some information that someone would need.
Remember, though, that your user will then be burdened with needing to remove the comments that you insert in this way. You'll want to add headers, footers and page numbers to our multi-page documents. If a document is only ever going to fill one page that's not a problem, but a document that is one page sometimes and three pages at other times probably needs to have page numbers, although we can set those page numbers up so that the first page is different, and a one page document won't have a page number in the header or footer.
You'll also want to be careful about how pages end because we don't know how much content a user may type into a particular area we can easily have widowed or orphaned lines at the top or bottom of a page. We can have tables that break badly across pages and don't then repeat their header rows which is annoying because it requires the user to flip back and look at what the headers are and then come back to the page where the rest of the table is, so we can use our pagination settings in regular text and repeat header rows within tables to manage the effects of page breaks.
For example, if I have some text and I want to make sure that the text stays together so that I don't have a heading on one page and the start of the text on the next then I can select that text, click the dialogue box launcher in the paragraph group, and because these are two separate paragraphs I want to "Keep with next," and I can do that for each of these sections that may fall across the page break. It's a nice thing to remember that you can just use CTRL+Y to repeat or F4.
In a table that may break across pages what I'd like to do is I'd like to set up this table specifically to repeat header rows. This is my header row right here, so you just select it and choose "repeat header rows." In this table the same thing. Select it, "repeat header rows" and then if this table breaks across the page the header row will be repeated. Let's see how that works. Notice that as soon as the table broke across the page we have a new header row at the top of the second part of the table.
You want to make sure that you choose an appropriate theme and those are available on the design tab right here. Now we'll allow users to change the theme normally, but you may not want to, however, you should always choose a theme, so if they don't wish to change it they'll have a good looking document, and then as you're working with text you'll want to make sure that you're using theme ready fonts, so you'll use the fonts here at the top for anything that you want to change along with the theme.
If you need to create new styles then add them. Don't simply add and format text and not create a style for the text. So if I needed to have a new type of element, for example, a tip or a note I'd enter that text and perhaps I'd like to format the note with italics and with small cap which looks like this, but notice that I don't have a style for my special note, so I'm going to create a new style and I'm going to call it "note1." Now that exists and can be used anywhere in this document and in any document based on this template.
If there are styles that I don't want to have used, then I can hide them, and that will be done here in the manage styles dialogue box, so I click here and can click "manage styles." If we have a need for a type of formatting that we don't have a style for already then we'll want to add a new quick style not just format some text and leave it that way and we also have the ability to hide styles that should not be used, and we'll talk about these two topics in a separate movie.
Finally, we'll want to be able to secure the work we've done on the template, so one possibility is that we have parts of the document that we don't want someone to edit. For example, we may not want anyone to have the ability to remove the instructions, or to remove the headings. They can enter text under the summary, but they can't get rid of the heading summary itself because it's part of this report. They can't modify the items that are listed in the table at the top.
So if we have specific areas we don't want to have edited we can make sure that we restrict editing to particular areas of the document and that's very easy to do in Word 2013. In a similar way since we will have described all of the styles that we need and removed styles that we don't want our users to use we can then restrict editing to that styles set that we have created so that users aren't allowed to use styles that we don't want to have appear in our template.
And then finally, if we have a branded template, a template that's using our organization's colors, our organization's logo, if you have a style guide in your organization that says these are the only fonts that are allowed, these are the only heading styles that are allowed, then we can turn off theme switching so that our user can't accidentally switch to a different color or font set and we can turn off style switching as well. I'll be showing you how you can turn off switching later in the course.
Now that we've reviewed best practices let's go back to work in Word.
- Opening, customizing, and saving templates
- Converting an existing document to a template
- Best practices for template creation
- Styling your templates
- Restricting editing to certain areas
- Modifying the Normal template
- Sharing templates via email and SharePoint
- Using building blocks
- Using content controls
- Using field codes
- Creating and attaching add-ins