Join Mariann Siegert for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding template fundamentals, part of Building Templates in Word.
Have you ever used a template? If you answered no, you may be surprised to know that the answer is most probably yes. That is, if you've ever used Word, you've used a template. Technically, there is no way to create a new document in Word without it being based upon some form of template. Every single document in Word is attached to a global template called the Normal Template. So, what is a template? A template is a document type that creates a copy of itself when you open it. Simply, well, that's how Microsoft begins to explain a Word template.
The Encarta Dictionary defines a template as something that serves as a master, or a pattern from which other similar things can be made. When you create a new document in Word, you automatically apply the default pattern established by underlying template created by Microsoft. The whole point of a Word template is to create a format that can be used over and over again. You can store text within a template, whether it's one word, or 500 pages of text. You might create a template for a form that you fill out, or a contract design.
You can create a template for your company letterhead, your memos, or your faxes. You can create templates that contain your company branding, and logos which can assist in your marketing, your branding, and consistency throughout your documents, and throughout your company or firm. Templates can store both simple and complex elements and operations. You can also say such things as margin settings, page orientation, fonts; literally anything you can put in a document, you can store in a template, plus so much more.
The cool thing is, all documents based upon your template will contain these settings. You can then use this template as your starting point, as opposed to having to reinvent the wheel. Since a document is based upon a template, and a template stores macros, building blocks, including any auto- text, User Interface customizations in version 2007 and 2010, keyboard shortcuts, and formatted AutoCorrect entries, a document has access to any of this information stored in the template it's based upon.
For example, a document that is based upon a template that has a button added to the Quick Access toolbar will also have this button added to its Quick Access toolbar. There are two out of the box global templates; one is called the Normal Template, and the other one is called the Building Blocks Template. Word automatically loads the Normal Template. It loads the Building Blocks Template whenever it's in use. All documents have access to the global templates. Document templates have settings that you only want to be available to documents that are based upon that template; not all of your templates.
You wouldn't want to have all of your documents to bring up your company letterhead, a form, or something that contains text that you need to delete each time you open a document. So the main difference is that global templates affect all documents you create in Word, while document templates only affect those documents you base on a particular template. All Word documents are based upon templates, which are predesigned and preformatted files that serve as a foundation of documents. Using and creating your own templates will help you to take advantage of one of Word's most powerful work saving and time saving features.
- Using, applying, and modifying templates
- Creating custom templates
- Using organizers to copy styles, AutoText, and macros
- Adding building blocks and content controls
- Inserting field codes and document properties
- Creating style set templates
- Creating global, workgroup, and add-in templates
- Modifying the Normal.dotm template