Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing the Attached Template.

Changing the Attached Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 18, 2015)


In Word, a template is used to specify the default styles and text formatting for a document. When you first open a blank document, Word automatically attaches the Normal template, although you can specify a different template. After the file has been created, you can change the attached template by following these steps:

  1. Display the Developer tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Document Template tool. Word displays the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Templates and Add-Ins dialog box.

  4. Click on the Attach button. Word displays the Attach Template dialog box.
  5. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the template you want attached to your document.
  6. Click on Open. The Attach Template dialog box disappears, and the name of the template you selected appears in the Document Template box.
  7. Select the Automatically Update Document Styles check box to make sure that the styles in the template are applied to your document.
  8. Click on OK.

If you don't see the Developer tab necessary for step 1, then you need to make the tab visible. You do that by first displaying the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) Click Popular at the left side of the dialog box, and then select the Show Developer Tab in Ribbon check box.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5998) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing the Attached Template.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is six more than 8?

2016-11-17 17:16:27


What happens to text that is formatted with a style that is not in the new template?

2016-11-17 17:08:38


This tip sort of works.
But the styles that were in the original template seem to stay with the document.
It is very hard and tedious to delete them.
This whole area is very flakely and MS need to tidy it up.
(or is it just me?)

2015-12-09 09:34:23

Paul Franklin Stregevsky

You can add the Templates shortcut to your Quick Access Toolbar (QAT).

2015-12-09 04:01:33

Jonathan Gabriele-Hay

I can never find this option, but it is essential when working with old documents for which the original custom template is long gone. Google always brings me to this page when I've misplaced my bookmark.
Great tip, thank you.

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