Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Saving a Preview with Your Template.

Saving a Preview with Your Template

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2017)

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You already know that Word allows you to save your own document templates. These files are blueprints for documents you want to create in the future. When you select New from the File tab (Word 2010 and Word 2013) or Office button (Word 2007), you can use the resulting controls to see a list of templates available for creating new documents. In the left side of the dialog box are the templates and at the right side is a preview of what that template looks like.

You may have already noticed that some of the templates you create don't have a preview available in the dialog box. If this is the case with your template, and you want to have a preview available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Press F12 to display the Save As dialog box.
  2. Along the bottom edge of the dialog box is a Save Thumbnail check box. Turn it on to save a preview of the template itself.
  3. Confirm that the Save As Type input field is still set to the appropriate Word Template file type.
  4. Confirm that the template is being saved to the right folder.
  5. Confirm that the file name is correct, that it hasn't accidentally been changed.
  6. Click on the Save button to save the changes.

At this point you can close the template file. Now when you display templates when creating a new document, your template should have a preview available.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8659) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Saving a Preview with Your 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 4 + 1?

2017-09-27 05:15:46

Beata

Thank you


2017-09-14 12:23:26

Graham Spillman

In Word 2007 - don't know about other versions - there seems to be a small glitch in this procedure

I find it works well for a normal unprotected template, but Thumbnail Previews are missing if the template saved has been partially protected by clicking on "Yes, Start enforcing protection" before the document is saved as a Template.

This means you have to choose between having a Preview of an unprotected form OR having a protected template for the form with no preview

I couldn't find any way around this.
Do you have any other ideas?


2014-09-24 12:45:45

Jim Wood

I have a new installation of Office 2013 and this does not work. The thumbnail keeps coming up blank. My .dotx file that is displaying has the text I want in the thumbnail.


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