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At the basic level, a template means a document that is used as a starting point for another document. The term refers to the fact that just the framework of the document is being used, not the specific content (thought part of the framework may include portions of content such as headings). So when you open last month's report and edit just the information that's changed in the last thirty days, you've used that old report as the template for your new report.
Word offers easy ways to use an existing document as the starting point for a new one. When you start a new document using the New command (rather than the Ctrl+N shortcut), you can select New from Existing in the set of choices in the upper left corner. That gives you a dialog box for browsing to the file you want to use as your starting point. Or you can use the Open command, select the file you want to use as your starting point, and then select Open as Copy from the dropdown menu associated with the Open button.
Of course, there's also the tried and true way of opening the original document, making the changes, and hoping that you remember to use Save As to create a new copy rather than saving over the original. If you're going to go that route, you might want to consider making the original file read-only so that Word won't let you save over it.
All of those methods work OK but they require you to remember that you want to open that particular file and use it as a template. And that can be too much thinking to do on a Monday morning. Word also offers a way to identify the original document so that your operating system knows that you always want to create a copy. The secret is to tell Word to treat the document as a template by either placing it in a special location or giving it a special file extension, or both.
That means that when you open these documents by double-clicking on them, a new copy is created rather than opening the original. To convert a document into a template with the DOTX extension, follow these steps:
Each of the template extensions provides information about the type of template:
In general, I recommend using the DOTX format for your templates because it doesn't include macros and is fully compatible with Word 2007. There are, as with most rules, a few exceptions. If you want the document to open in Compatibility Mode (that is, restricted to Word 2003 features), then use a DOT format. If the template will contain UI customizations or macros, then use DOTM. Note that while it is possible to store DOC or DOCX files in the Trusted Templates folder and have them appear via File New, there is no advantage in doing so.
You can also store your template so that is available when you create a new document. If you use the Open command to access a DOT, DOTX, or DOTM file, the file will open just like any other document. That means you're opening the original for editing rather than a copy.
But you can store a file so that it is available when you use the New command and then select My Templates from the choices in the upper left corner. The resulting dialog contains all of the files that Word recognizes from your template folder. In my example, I only have one group of templates but any folders within that folder are represented as tabs along the top of the dialog.
For files to appear in this dialog, it doesn't matter whether the file is saved as a template (DOTX, DOTM, or DOT) or a document (DOCX or DOC); what's important is the location. To make it easy to navigate to the right folder when saving your file, the templates location is represented by a choice in the left navigation bar (called Trusted Templates in Windows XP and Templates in Vista).
Because template files can contain macros and customizations to the Ribbon (or toolbars and menus in previous versions) in addition to their formatting information, be careful about saving files to the Trusted Templates or Templates folders because they are trusted. This is very powerful and useful, but it's is important that you only run macros from sources that you know and trust. Normally, when you try to open a file that contains code, Word will warn you before running the code. However, for files that you have saved in a trusted location, Word will automatically run that code-- without any warning --when you open the file.
By carefully designing your template with content controls and organizing the Quick Style gallery, you can design a template to serve as a standard starting point for documents so that the documents you create have a consistent look and format. I'll describe how I go about creating a template in a later post.
- Stuart J Stuple
This question is meant to integrate some of the Word Team's blog and video content of late--all exciting possibilities. I am particularly referring to the 'Separate Yet Equal' XML-mapping of data with Word 2007 that Tristan Davis addressed. My question is: if I have a Word 2007 template that I want to update 'on the fly' with 'data,' in the form of (spider) graphs/images and tables of aggregated findings generated by SQL 2005 Reporting Services, output as XML, can these be mapped to set locations within the .docx? Is this a web service of SQL queries to create the XML data store that will then be mapped to the .docx? Or is it possible/preferable to render from SSRS 2005 to Word 2007 directly? Thanks.
I'm having some questions on this topic: A) Could you please describe when the template is still needed by the newly created document? I think everything (content, styles, etc.) from the template is copied to the new document except macros. So the document can be passed on to another user without the template if there are no needed macros in the template, right? B) If you change your normal.dotm template to other default fonts, default spacings, default quickstyles and default theme you won't get displayed different format in the document on another user's installation with a different normal.dotm, do you?
The styles that have been used in the document are defined in the document. It is possible for a style that was in the template but unused to become unavailable if you separate the document from its templates. Also, building blocks are stored in the template and would no longe show in the gallery (though any already inserted into the document would remain).
Hi Joe, Great question - from what you've described, it sounds like a realy interesting scenario. Depending on how "on the fly" you want the data to be, the approach you might take would be a little different, but they're both things that you should be able to accomplish. - If you want the data to be live when the document is opened, but stay a snapshot from then on, then it would probably be best to build the system as follows: 1) Get the sample XML out of SSRS
2) Use it to create a template with mappings to the appropriate pieces of the data
3) Remove the data from the template and put it on the server
4) Write some server code (using the .NET 3.0 support for the new formats) to get the current data from SSRS and put it into the template
5) Shoot down that document to the client If you want more live data, then you could augment that with a VSTO addin on the client that re-queried the SSRS backend (maybe wrapped in a web service) and replaced the data in the custom XML data store with the most up-to-date data.
Thank you for your answer! Could you please also describe when Word will decide to drop the unused styles of the template from the document? Is there a way to make it keep the unused styles in the document? Additionally here some bug reports (sorry, I know it's off-topic but if there was a better easy way to report this I'd really use that way):
A) After saving a document with the Document Map Pane on, next time it will open with the Thumbnail Pane instead. (Word 2007 German RTM .docx) B) Today I had the "Page 1 of 1", "Page 2 of 2"... "Page n of n" problem in the footer with Word 2007 when printing out a document for the first time. (Numpages was equal to the highest currently printed page while the screen display was correct - this remembered me of support.microsoft.com/.../234287)
Thanks for your suggestions. It provides some much needed food for thought.
Hi Stuart (that's my brother's name too) I'm not a Word guru, but I've been searching the help sites for an hour to try to solve this myself. I aplogize if this question is basic... I'm trying to "apply" a document template to an existing document. Everything works fine EXCEPT the headers/footers, which stubbornly refuse to be updated to the new ones. The new headers/footers have different graphics and different words and I can't get the new ones to simply replace the old ones. The template is stored as a .dot and is readily available in the right templates location. Can you point me in the right direction? Thank you! Liz
Liz-- Templates only update content when used to create a new document. You cannot attach a tempalte and have it change content without additional macro coding to manage the process. The limitation is because a Word document may have several sections and it would be difficult to match changes in content with sections in the document.
Any chance to change settings of the normal.dotm-template programmatically even if it is located on a network folder? I've tried it like this: Sub vChangeNormalTemplate() Dim doc As Word.Document Set doc=NormalTemplate.OpenAsDocument doc.PageSetup.FirstPageTray=wdPrinterDefaultBin doc.Close SaveChanges:=True
End Sub When running the last line of code, I get a message box that the normal template is in use and I should try later again. Is there something wrong with my code or could it be a network file problem of Word?
How do you configue which paper trays are used when you create a document by calling "Documents.Add"? In the Word Options Dialog I've set "Use printer settings" but the resulting document always has "Automatically Select" instead of "Default Tray (Tray 3)" PS: In the template normal.dotm in the Page Setup Dialog there's set "Default Tray (Tray 3)" for first and other pages.
From support.microsoft.com/.../en-us: Non-file-based templates file location "2007 Office programs use non-file-based templates to create new workbooks, documents, databases, and slides." As the name suggests, there is no physical template (...)
For example, if the Word global template (Normal.dotm) is used to create a blank document, Word uses its internally stored settings to create a new blank document." Could you please tell more about those internal ly stored settings and WHERE they are stored? I.e. with older Word versions you could give a normal.dot-file to new users to set for them a default font, default pagesetup settings, etc. How can we deploy this now?
Stefan--The way the "default" styles are stored has not changed; you can still deploy Normal.dotx to customize the experience.
Hmmm...yes, you're right - in my recent tests I opened a different normal.dotm file. (ooops) But there's still some issue:
When I do a "Documents.Add" I get in the new document the paper tray settings I defined in the Page Setup Dialog when clicking on "Default". (ok) So I can successfully manually define the default paper trays using the dialog, but when I try to set them by the following code, they are not changed in normal.dotm: Set doc = Documents.ADD
If Not doc Is Nothing Then With doc.PageSetup .FirstPageTray = wdPrinterDefaultBin .OtherPagesTray = wdPrinterDefaultBin .SetAsTemplateDefault End With
End If So I'm really stuck now on how to get the default tray settings to hundreds of users automatically (the old normal.dot will be migrated). :-( I also cannot just open the normal.dotm file programmatically because it's write-protected when opening it as a document (it's located on a network share)
Sooo... As posted by the previous commenter 1892 days ago, there seems to be a problem with .PageSetup.SetAsTemplateDefault. I'm in Office 2010, and am running this very simple bit of code:
.Name = "Verdana"
.Size = 9
.PaperSize = wdPaperA4
While this succeeds perfectly in setting the default font for all future documents, it does absolutely nothing with the default paper size. So, what's the bug here??