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: Editing a Template.

Editing a Template

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 30, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


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 Microsoft 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. ...

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What is 3 + 7?

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.


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