About templates in Word

Every Microsoft Word document is based on a template (template: A file or files that contain the structure and tools for shaping such elements as the style and page layout of finished files. For example, Word templates can shape a single document, and FrontPage templates can shape an entire Web site.). A template determines the basic structure for a document and contains document components and settings, such as AutoText (AutoText: A storage location for text or graphics you want to use again, such as a standard contract clause or a long distribution list. Each selection of text or graphics is recorded as an AutoText entry and is assigned a unique name.) entries, fonts, key assignments, macros (macro: An action or a set of actions that you can use to automate tasks. Macros are recorded in the Visual Basic for Applications programming language.), menus, page layout, special formatting, and styles.

Security  Because templates can store macro viruses, be careful about opening them or creating files based on new templates. Take the following precautions: run up-to-date antivirus software on your computer, set your macro security level to high, clear the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box, use digital signatures, and maintain a list of trusted sources.

The following table shows which components and settings are stored in each type of template, as well as what is contained in the document file itself.

Components and settings Document file Document template Normal template Other global templates
Document text and graphic X      
Boilerplate text and graphics   XCallout 1 XCallout 1 Callout 3  
Styles X XCallout 2 XCallout 2 Callout 3  
Default settings X XCallout 1 XCallout 1 Callout 3  
AutoText entries   X X X
Macros   X X X
Custom command and toolbar settings   X X X
AutoCorrect entries     X  
Callout 1 Copied to the document when first created
Callout 2 Copied to the document when first created or each time document is opened if the option to automatically update styles is selected
Callout 3 Applies only to documents attached to the Normal template

ShowGlobal templates, including Normal.dot

Global templates (global template: Stores macros, AutoText entries, and custom toolbar, menu, and shortcut key settings that you can use while you work with documents based on any template. By default, the Normal template is a global template.) contain settings, such as macros and toolbars, that are available to all documents. By default, global templates (including Normal.dot) are stored in C:\Documents and Settings\user name \Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.

The Normal template (Normal template: A global template that you can use for any type of document. You can modify this template to change the default document formatting or content.) is a global template that contains default styles, AutoText, macros, toolbars, and other customizations. Whenever you start Word, the Normal template opens.

As you work on a document, the changes that you make to document settings are saved in the Normal template, unless you specify otherwise. You can also change the default document formatting, such as the default font size and style that you want to use each time you start a new document, and these changes will be saved to the Normal template.

When you work on a document, you typically use only the settings that are stored in the Normal template or in the template that is attached to the document. To use items that are stored in another template, you can load the other template as a global template. After you load a global template, certain components and settings stored in that template are available to any document during the remainder of the Word session.

Global templates that you load are unloaded when you close Word. To load a template each time you start Word, copy the template to the Microsoft Office Startup folder.

 Note   If Normal.dot is renamed, damaged, or moved, Word automatically creates a new version using the default settings the next time that you start Word.

ShowDocument templates

A document template contains settings, such as custom formatting and styles, that are available only to documents that are based on that template. The memo and fax templates in the Templates dialog box are examples of document templates.

Templates that you save in the Templates folder appear on the General tab in the Templates dialog box. If you want to create custom tabs for your templates in the Templates dialog box, create a new subfolder in the Templates folder, and save your templates in that subfolder. The name that you give that subfolder will appear on the new tab.

When you save a template, Word stores it by default in the Templates folder or in one of its subfolders. You can change where you save templates by changing the User templates location (Tools menu, Options command, File Locations tab). If you specify a different location, the template will not appear in the Templates dialog box.

Any document (.doc) file that you save in the Templates folder also acts as a template.

 Note   For more templates, such as calendars, resumes, and stationery, visit the Microsoft Office Online Web site. After you download a template, you can save it either as a local document or as a document template that you can reuse.

How-to information    Find links to more information about templates and their locations in the See Also section, which is visible when you are connected to the Internet.

Applies to:
Word 2003