MS Word

Create a Template for Each Document Type You Use Frequently

The Problem:

My work involves creating many documents in three basic types: letters, reports, and task lists. I seem to spend half my time performing the same actions over and over again.

The Solution:

Create a template for each type of document you need to create. Choose File » New and click either "On my computer" (in Word 2003) or "General templates" (in Word XP) in the New Document task pane to display the Templates dialog box. In Word 2000, choose File » New to display the equivalent New dialog box.

Select the existing template on which you want to base the new template; for example, choose Blank Document if you want to start from scratch, or one of the letter templates if you need to create a letter. Select the Template option and click the OK button. Choose File » Save and assign the new template a descriptive name. Save it in the default locationyour user templates folderunless you have a good reason to put it elsewhere.

Lay out and format the document, entering any text that all documents based on this template will need. For example, in the template for a customer service letter, you might enter the entire document except for the customer's address, the details of the complaint, and the response or resolution.

Use styles to apply formatting consistently throughout the document.

Create AutoText and AutoCorrect entries for boilerplate text that doesn't specifically belong in any template. To continue the example of the customer service letter, you might create AutoCorrect entries for phrases or sentences that the customer service representatives will often need to enter without changes. covers bending AutoCorrect and AutoText to your will.)

Save the changes to the template, and then close it.

To create a document based on a template, open the Templates or New dialog box as described above. Select the template, and then click the OK button.

To create a template from an existing document, choose File » Save As, select Document Template in the "Save as type" drop-down list, specify the name, and click the Save button. (Word automatically changes to your user templates folder when you select the Document Template item.) Templates and documents are almost exactly the same, except for the file extension.