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

Editing a Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2019)

1

A template is Word's guide for how your document and working environment should appear. Depending on your version of Word, templates can contain information on the toolbar, ribbon, menus, macros, styles, default text, and any number of other environmental items.

Editing a template is much like editing a regular document; the only difference is that the file is saved with a different filename extension than regular documents. To load an existing template so that you can edit it, do the following:

  1. Display the Open dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Open. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Open. In Word 2013 display the File tab of the ribbon, click Open, click Computer, and then click Browse. In Word 2016 display the File tab of the ribbon, click Open, click This PC, and then click Browse. In Word 2019 or Word in Office 365, click Open, and then click Browse.)
  2. At the bottom of the dialog box, just above the Open button, is a drop-down list where you can specify the type of files you want Word to list. Use the drop-down list to select either Word Templates or Word Macro-Enabled Templates, depending on which type you want to open.
  3. Using the controls in the dialog box, browse through directories and disks drives as desired until the desired template files are listed.
  4. Select the desired document template.
  5. Click the Open button.

You can now make any changes desired, and then save the template again. The changes affect any future documents you base on the template.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7334) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Editing a 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Specifying the Number of Worksheets in a New Workbook

By default, a new Excel workbook contains three blank worksheets. You can (and should) configure Excel to whatever number ...

Discover More

Printing Summary Information

Word automatically maintains a number of properties for each document you create. As part of those properties you can ...

Discover More

Word 2013 Mail Merge Magic (Table of Contents)

The mail merge tool available in Word is powerful, allowing you to use data from a variety of sources to create hundreds ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Creating a Document Based on a Template

Double-click a Word template file in Windows, and Word should create a brand new document based on that template. If this ...

Discover More

Changing the Attached Template

Templates, when attached to a document, can greatly affect how that document looks. You can change from one template to ...

Discover More

Updating Many Template References

Documents rely on templates. If you change the location of those templates (on purpose or by accident), Word can take a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one less than 8?

2019-02-23 12:41:31

Esme K.

I have found that it is easier to use the dialogue boxes associated with the tabs to edit templates. The main tabs have dialogue boxes which when fully opened (using the arrow in the lower right corner) give access to adjustable options. So, simply open a new document (no need to search for the document template). Upen up the relevant tab fully. Select / modify your desired options. Then, simply click the "Default" button at the bottom of the dialogue box. This action has the effect of applying the modifications you have made, to all new documents subsequently opened (which are, of course, based on the document template.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.