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

Inserting a Text Box

Text boxes are a great way to implement non-standard ways of laying out your document. They allow you to put text at ...

Discover More

Inserting a Special Symbol

The vast majority of what you enter into a document can be accomplished through the use of the regular keyboard. However, ...

Discover More

Finding the Path to the Desktop

Figuring out where Windows places certain items (such as the user's desktop) can be a bit frustrating. Fortunately, there ...

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)

Templates and Page Setup

Templates are a great way to share styles, macros, and other settings among various documents. One thing that isn't ...

Discover More

Determining the Template Attached to a Document

If you've opened a document in Word, that document has a template attached to it. This tip looks at what those templates ...

Discover More

Inconsistent Prompting to Save Normal Template Changes

You can configure Word to notify you when it is about to save updates to the Normal template. There may be some ...

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 seven more than 1?

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.