How to create, view, and share Word 2007 templates

Many of you ask how to create templates, plus how to apply them to another document or share them with other people, so here are the instructions you need to get started!

For guidelines on how to create templates that are easy to use or that will print correctly, and for tips on using some Word 2007 features, see this article:

Don’t forget to submit your templates to the Office Online community!

To create a Word template, you need to save a document to one of the template file formats. Here’s how:

  1. Open the document that you want to save as a template, or open a new document.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office button, and then click Save As.
  3. Browse to the location where you want to save the template and then type a file name.
  4. Click the Save as type box and then select Word Template (or select Word Macro-Enabled Template if you have or plan to add macros to your template).
  5. Click Save.

To make changes to a template

You can save a document as a template at any time and update the template whenever you like. After you create the template file, however, make sure you open the template—and not document based on the template—if you want to make changes to it. Here’s how:

  1. Browse to the folder or location where the template is stored.
  2. Right-click the template file name, and then click Open.

    Note   Double-clicking the template file will open a new document that is based on the template, and not the template itself, which is useful for testing purposes but to make changes to a template itself, follow the steps above.

To prevent changes to a template (make it read-only)

If you don’t want someone else to make changes to a template, you can set the file properties to “read-only” by taking these steps:

  1. Browse to the folder or location where the template is stored.
  2. Right-click the template file name, and then click Properties.
  3. On the General tab next to Attributes, select the Read-only check box, and then click OK.

Important   If you decide to make changes to the template at a later time, remember to clear the read-only properties before you begin or Word will prompt you to save the file using a different file name. To see if a document or template that you’ve already opened is read-only, check if (Read-Only) is appended to the title.

To display templates in the Word 2007 New Document pane, under My Templates

You can save a template to any location on your computer to which you have access and open new documents using the template by going to that location.

To see the template in My Templates in the New Document pane, however, you need to add the file to the default location for templates on your computer. Here’s how:

  1. Browse to the folder or location where the template is stored.
  2. Right-click the template file name, and then click Copy.
  3. Browse to the default location for templates on your computer:
    • On Windows Vista, the default location is C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates
    • On Windows XP, it is C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataMicrosoftTemplates
  4. Right-click anywhere in the default folder, and then click Paste.
  5. To see if your template can be used from the New Document pane, open Word, click the Word button, and then click New.
  6. Under Templates, click My Templates to open the New dialog box. Your template is now displayed on the My Templates tab.

To display network templates in the Word 2007 New Document pane

Many of you who distribute or maintain documents and templates on a network have asked how to do this. Here’s how to display templates that are stored on a network drive in the Word 2007 New Document pane, under My templates:

  1. Open Word, click the Word button, and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Advanced, scroll to the General section, and then click File Locations.
  3. Click Workgroup Templates and then click Modify.
  4. Browse to the network share where you store templates, and then click OK.

The next time you click My templates in the new document window, the templates on the network drive will appear. However, they will be displayed with any templates from the user’s local template location, or “user templates” location.

On Windows 7 and  Vista, the default location is C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataRoamingMicrosoftTemplates. On Windows XP, it is C:UsersUSERNAMEAppDataMicrosoftTemplates.

Note: your AppData folder may be hidden. To make it visible, you can go to Control Panel > Appearance and Personaliztion > Folder Options > General tab > Select Show All Folders. Or, you can search for “show hidden files” by clicking on the question mark in the upper right corner of your browser. You will get instructions that link you to the place to change your settings.

Tip   Make sure that everyone who needs to use the templates has access to the network drive, and that it’s a secure and trusted location. You might also want to set the network folder properties or the template file properties to read-only so they can’t be easily or accidentally modified.

This post is reprinted from our former templates blog. –  Nancy Crowell

 For more free downloads, visit templates and clip art on Office.com.