Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Converting an existing document to a template, part of Word 2013: Templates in Depth.
- There have been some changes to templates and the infrastructure behind templates in Word 2013, but one of the results is that it's very easy to create templates from existing documents. In some prior versions of Word that wasn't necessarily a good idea. But it works very well here in Word 2013. I have a document. It's a report. I've begun filling it out, and I realize, "Wow, every single time I fill this out "I'm taking a older version of this report "and overwriting the text that's in here.
"I have to keep track of what I've overwritten "and what I haven't, what's different in this report "than the last time. "Why don't I just stop right here and take the time "to create a template because that's going to pay me back "in terms of efficiency every single time I use it?" Then I can share it with other people on my team, and they'll be better off too. Let's see what we need to do to make some changes in this document so that it becomes a template. The first thing is I want to identify every single item that is going to be replaced with other text each time the document is used.
In fact, it's most of this document. The only things that really stay every single time, are the logo, these labels here, the instructions, and the headings. Everything else so far is variable. I'll begin by changing this to Project Title. The project title also appears here, and in a later movie I'll show you how we can use field codes to only have to enter this once. Whoever the manager for the project is goes here.
It's their full name. Then, each of these dates is entered using the same international format. That is DD MMM YYYY, is one way to represent it. Two-digit date, a three-character month, and a four-digit year. I need to put that in three other places so I'm just gonna copy it and paste, paste, paste. That gets me through the top. Now we have instructions. Then we have a summary, and here's some text.
I can put in my own placeholder by way of instructions that says, "Provide a brief executive summary "of project activities "during the report period." Great! Now this document when it's filled out is two, three, four, five pages long, but notice that the placeholders don't take up as much space. So as I add placeholders, the document's going to get shorter.
Staff changes, and rather than provide a brief summary, I'm gonna say, "Summarize "staff changes during the reporting period "and any changes anticipated in the next period." Customer Communications. Describe the tone and content of communications with our customer during this report period.
Then we have two tables, Tasks Behind Schedule, Requirement Changes. New Risks and Opportunities. Describe any new external risks or opportunities identified during this report period. There we go. Down to one page. That's it. I'm going to save this as a template, and then we will continue working with the template and improving it. It's not done yet. This was just our first effort at removing text that's dynamic that changes each time, and replacing it with placeholders, and hanging onto the few pieces of text in this document like the instructions that do not change from one instance of the document to another.
This looks good so save it as a template. File, Save As, I'm gonna put this in Chapter Two, and we will call this Solar Farm Report, but we want to save this as a template. As soon as I choose Word Template, notice I'm taken to my Custom Office Templates folder, Solar Farm Report.dotx, Save.
- 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