Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 27, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 or later versions, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.) In Word 2010 and later versions, click Customize Ribbon at the left side of the dialog box. At the right side of the dialog box, under Customize the Ribbon and under Main Tabs, select the Developer check box. In Word 2007, 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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. 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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