Creating a Document Based on a Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 9, 2020)

John noted that when he double-clicked on a template file in Windows Explorer when using Windows XP and Word 2003, a new document was created, based on the template. However, using Vista and Word 2007, when John double-clicks on a template file the template file opens instead of a new document. John wonders how to configure things to open a new document based on the template instead of opening the template itself.

The default action of double-clicking a template on the desktop is to create a new document based on that template, regardless of the version of Word or Windows you are using. In fact, what happens when you double-click a file is controlled by Windows; Word has nothing to do with it. The only possible answer is that something is probably amiss with John's Vista setup.

The first thing to check is to make sure that the template is actually a template. Start Word, load the file, and then use Save As to save it specifically as a template under a new name. Get out of Word and double-click the newly saved template. If a new document is created—one based on the template—then you know that there was no problem with Windows and the problem is solved.

If the problem persists, then you should try to "reregister" Word with Windows. You do this by starting Word using this command in a command window:

winword /r

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6615) applies to Microsoft Word 2007.

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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