Microsoft Office Development and Consultancy
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What is a Template ?
A template is a sample document that is used for the basis for a new document.
A template determines the basic structure for a document and contains document specific settings such as fonts, styles, page layout, macros etc.
When you create a document the file that is created initially is just a copy of its template.
A word template has the file extension (".dot") and every document is based on a template.
When you save a document as a Word template the three-letter extension of ".dot" is added to the end of the name instead of ".doc".
What are the advantages of using a Template ?
The main advantage of using a template is clearly evident if you create the same document on a regular basis.
Templates do not only reduce the time taken to create a new document but also let you create custom editing environments for specifc documents.
The more information you can add to your templates the less you have to add to your documents.
What can a Template include ?
Anything you can put into a document, you can also put into a template.
Styles - These will stay with the document even if the attached template cannot be found.
AutoText - Documents created from templates containing AutoText entries will not be copied to the document.
Macros - These are available as long as the attached template can be found.
Custom Toolbars - These are available as long as the attached template can be found.
Different Types of Templates
Word recognises five different types of template although one of these is used internally.
Normal.dot - This is loaded automatically whenever Word is opened.
User Templates - These can be loaded manually.
Workgroup Templates - These can be loaded manually.
Global Templates - These load automatically whenever Word is open and must be saved in your startup folder.
Non file based templates - These are special templates which are used internally by Word and cannot be used or changed by the user.
If Normal.dot appears in more than one place - which one takes precedence ?
You can actually define completely different locations for your Word templates.
Workgroup templates do not have to be on a network or shared drive.
Each subfolder in either of those directories will create a new tab providing it contains at least one .dot (or .wiz) file
Templates that appear in either of the top level folders will appear on the General tab.
If you want to make sure that a particular template appears at the beginning prefix it with an underscore.
The default blank document which a lot of poeple use is based on the Normal template.
If you do not explicitly select a template then your new document will be based on the default template "Normal.dot"
Once you have created a document based on a template any further changes to the template are not propagated down to the documents created from that template.
Word copies all the text and styles from a template and puts them into the document. It does not copy any macros from the template.
When you open an existing document or switch focus to another document, Word automatically retrieves the attached template which the document is based on and puts the toolbars, menus, keyboard shortcuts, macros into effect.
Most connections between a document and its template are broken immediately after the document is created.
This means that you can make changes to your templates without affecting existing documents
When you add a template using the (Tools > Templates and Addins) dialog box this template will not be loaded the next time you open Word.
If you want the template to always be loaded you must place it in the startup folder so it can be considered a global template.
Opening a Template
You can open a template, select (File > Open) and browse to the corresponding folder.
If you double click the file from outside Word then a document will be created from the template, rather than the actual template being opened.
Things to Remember
Every document has a template attached to it. This can be changed from (Tools > Templates and Addins)(Attach button)
It is not this extension that makes it a template so changing a file extension will not change a document into a template or a template into a document.
Any templates that are saved in the templates folder will automatically appear on the General tab on the (File > New) dialog box.
Don't double click templates from emails. This will create duplicates and if the template already exists in this folder it be automatically renamed to TemplateName(2).dot
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