Automating tasks you have to do over and over is one of the things that computers do very well. If you find yourself repeatedly formatting documents you need to create, why not try templates? This article will explain what these are and how to use them.
Simply put, Microsoft Word Templates are pre-formatted, blank files used as an aid in creating a new document. It can be as simple as having a template that defaults to a certain font type and size needed for a particular purpose, or as complicated as calendar and form templates. Microsoft Word comes with many useful templates already installed and you can easily create and use templates of your own. This article will briefly explain both.
There are several ways to browse pre-installed templates, but the easiest way, and one that works in all versions, is to click the New Document icon under the File menu. Once you click New, you will be given a wide variety of template groups, such as letters, faxes, resumes, etc. Under each group is a variety of templates ready for you to use.
Depending on the template you choose, you may be presented with a blank page that looks no different from the default template until you start typing. On the other hand, you may be presented with placeholders, text boxes, and other mechanisms designed to guide you through creating and formatting your chosen document type. For instance, a resume template will have places to create information for the different categories of data you would want in a resume, and then format them in a professional manner. Regardless of the type of template you open, input the data as needed or requested, then save it as you would any other file.
It is also possible to create your own template. To begin, start Word and open a blank document as you normally would. From here, the next steps will depend on the type of template you are designing, and as mentioned above, can be very simple or highly complicated. To get really fancy, you will need to understand how to insert form fields, placeholders and do creative formatting. For this example, you will create a simple template that changes the default font and size.
Let’s say, instead of the typical default of 11 point Calibri, you want a template that always uses 12 point Times New Roman. Click on the Home tab and then the small arrow in the bottom corner of the Font section to bring up the Font Dialog Box. Change all the desired settings here and then click on the Set as Default button. In the window that pops up, click on This Document Only unless you want to change the default font for all documents.
Next, without typing in any text or making any other changes (unless you want those changes as part of this template), bring up the normal File, Save As dialog. Choose Templates from the drop-down box for the file type. Accept or change the location where Word chooses to place the template and then click Save. Now when you want to use this template, use the New Document method mentioned above, but click on the Personal group in the Open Template dialog. This will present you with any custom templates you have created.
If you find yourself modifying settings frequently for documents you need, consider creating a custom template to save time and reduce errors.