Create or change a template

If you run a typical business, you probably create certain publications — such as newsletters, flyers, postcards, and gift certificates — over and over again. While each new version is unique, some elements remain consistent, like your company name and address.

In a monthly newsletter, for example, much of the layout stays the same, but the content of the newsletter changes for each version.

Sample of newsletter published by bank

What do you want to do?

Learn about templates

Save a publication as a template

Use a template to create a publication

Change a template

Organize your templates with categories

Learn about templates

You can make a template from any publication by saving that publication as a Publisher template file. Any template that you save to the default template location becomes available in the New Publication task pane.

When you start a new publication by selecting a template, a copy of the template file opens so that the original template isn't altered by mistake. If you want to make changes to the template itself, you can open a copy of the template file, make the changes that you want, and then save it again as a template. You can also create categories for your templates in order to organize them in the New Publication task pane.

You can save time by designing a master publication that reflects your company brand and identity and then saving it as a template. Then, each time you want to create a new version, you can use the template and add only the information that is unique to that version. Using a template for a publication that you regularly produce not only saves time but also ensures quality and consistency.

There are many ways to create a publication in Publisher. Publisher offers many designs that are like templates, but with dynamic features that make it easy to change the design, layout, colors, and other elements. You can:

  • Use a Publisher Master Design Set to promote a consistent company identity.
  • Use one of the publication wizards to create exactly the type of publication you want, such as a calendar, newsletter, or postcard.

You can even design a publication by using a design set or publication wizard and then save it as a template.

This article is about how to save a publication as a template and work with template files (.pub) that are located on your computer.

For more information about how to design a publication to save as a template, read about creating branded templates for your business from scratch in Publisher.

For information about downloading a template from the Microsoft Office Online Web site, click Downloading Office Online templates in the See Also section of this article.

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Save a publication as a template

You can make a template from any publication by saving that publication as a Publisher template file. You can also download a template from Microsoft Office Online, make any changes that you want, and save the file as a template that you can use again.

  1. Create or open the publication that you want to use as a template.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. In the Save as type box, click Publisher Template.

The destination folder changes to the default template location (C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates, if you haven't changed the location in Microsoft Word). You need to save your template in this folder if you want it to appear on the right side of the New Publication task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.).

  1. In the File name box, type a name for the template.
  2. Click Save.

 Note   To see the Templates option in the New Publication task pane or the new category that you added, exit and start Publisher again.

The Templates option appears in the New Publication task pane only if you already saved template files to the default folder. If you save templates to a different folder, they will not appear under the Templates option in the New Publication task pane.

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Use a template to create a publication

This procedure works only if you already created a publication template in Publisher (by choosing Publisher Template in the Save as type list when you saved the publication) and saved it to the default template location.

 Note   If you save a publication template to a location other than the default template location, it is not available in the New Publication task pane, and you cannot use it as a template.

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. In the New Publication task pane, under New from a design, click Templates, and then click the template that you want to use.
  3. Add the content that you want, and make any changes that you want in the new version of your publication.
  4. When you want to save this version of the publication, click Save As on the File menu.
  5. Save the publication as a regular Publisher file in any location that you want.

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Change a template

This procedure works only if you already created a publication template in Publisher and saved it to the default template location.

 Note   If you save a publication template to a location other than the default template location, it is not available in the New Publication task pane, and you cannot use it as a template.

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. In the New Publication task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.), under New from a design, click Templates.
  3. In the Preview Gallery, click the template that you want to change.
  4. Make the changes that you want.
  5. On the File menu, click Save.
  6. In the Save as type box, click Publisher Template.
  7. Click the name of the template that you changed.
  8. Click Save.
  9. When you are asked if you want to replace the existing file, click Yes.

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Organize your templates by using categories

By default, templates that you save to the default templates folder appear in the My Templates category under Templates in the New Publication task pane.

Templates option in the New Publication task pane

You can organize your templates into additional categories under Templates by adding a value to the Category property for the template file.

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. In the New Publication task pane, under New from a design, click Templates, and then click the template that you want to categorize.
  3. On the File menu, click Properties, and then click the Summary tab.
  4. In the Category box, type the name of the category that you want to create.

For example, if your publication template is for a newsletter, type Newsletters to create a category for all of your newsletter templates.

 Note   If you create additional templates for newsletters, you can save them with the same category label, and they will appear together in the same category.

  1. Click OK.
  2. On the File menu, click Save.
  3. In the Save as type box, click Publisher Template.
  4. Click the name of the template that you categorized.
  5. When you are asked if you want to replace the existing file, click Yes.

 Note   The new category that you created appears under Templates in the New Publication task pane the next time you start Publisher.

New Publication task pane with Newsletters template category

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Applies to:
Publisher 2003