Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Convert an existing document to a template, part of Word 2016: Templates in Depth.
- [Instructor] This document is a report that I have to complete every quarter for every single project that we're working on. And this version, which is available in the exercise files as Buckley Solar Farm Report, as I begin filling it out, I realize wow, every single time I complete this, I take an older version of the report, I do a Save As with another name, and overwrite the text I already have. Sometimes I have to double-check, have I overwritten this text, or is it simply the same summary as last time? This is a good time, right now, when I've selected some new text and I'm ready to replace it, to realize that if I took just a few moments, I could create a template, and this would pay me back in efficiency and in clarity every single time I use it.
And also, I could share it with the other people who have similar roles in my organization, and they'll all be better off, too. Let's walk through, then, what it will take to modify this document so that it becomes a template. The first thing I need to do is to identify every single item that will be replaced with other text the next time and the next time that it's used, and in this document, it's really most of the text. For example, the title here at the top is dependent on exactly what installation it is that we're writing a report about.
Therefore, I'm simply going to change this so it says Project Title. Next, I have a Project Code, and the Project Code right here has a particular pattern to it, which is that it is the year and a dash, and then a three letter code for the customer, and a four letter code for the name of this particular installation, and that is the Project Code. Then I have the project title, and I just have the word Project here, so I'm going to make it clear that this project title goes in right here.
And the Project Manager, that's very clear what that is. That's a Project Manager. And we then have the Project End Date, and I'd like to be clear about what the method is for entering a date so that we don't have some people typing out the words December and so on. One way to do this if I were creating a form would be to add a date control here with a datepicker, but I'm simply going to do DD MMM YYYY, which is the format for this type of a date, two digit month, when you see three Ms, that means that the name of the month will be spelled out, and a four digit year.
And I could replace, then, all of the dates with that particular pattern. And this gets me through my header quite nicely. I've now modified this header so that it is no longer specific to this document, but is generic, and I will then be able to use it as a template. Now we have some instructions, and I'll want those always to appear. I could give them some highlighting, and I will usually do something to make these stand out a little bit differently, like a light yellow, for example.
I then have a title, and I have some text. The title is Summary, and the text that I should provide then is information that would allow my users to know what goes in here. There was similar information in the original, notice insert budget summary table here, so for summary, I'm going to indicate provide a brief summary of project activities during the report period. So I have my budget summary, then I have my budget chart.
And notice that as I continue to remove items here, for example, Staff Changes, summarize staff changes during the reporting period or note none. Customer Communications. Let's just say describe the content of customer communications and attach any written reports provided to the customer.
Now I have two tables, Tasks Behind Schedule, Requirement Changes, New Risks and Opportunities, and one more table at the end. And I'm going to summarize new risks and opportunities. Everything else is good here. Everything that is left now is something that we would like to have in every single version of this report. We're not done, but this is a really good start. I'm going to save this now as a template.
File, Save As, change from Word Document to Word Template, and I've going to save this as Installation Project Report because that's what it is and click Save. And this is automatically placed in my Custom Office Templates folder.
- Customizing and saving templates
- Creating a new template from scratch
- Working with styles
- Sharing templates
- Adding building blocks and field codes