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: Updating Many Template References.

Updating Many Template References

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 7, 2018)

1

Over the years Phillip's company has developed thousands and thousands of Word documents. They recently changed their network infrastructure to use different servers and upgraded computers for everyone in Phillip's department. When someone opens one of those pre-existing documents, it looks for a template that existed in the old infrastructure, but is no longer available. This means that the document takes a long time to open, after which point they can change the bad template reference. If Phillip has to open each of the old documents it is going to take days and days to do it, so he wonders if there is any way to change the template references more efficiently, without the need to open each document.

This can be a real bother—there are few things worse (in the office) than staring at a computer screen, waiting for some process to finish. What is happening is that Word thinks your templates are in a particular location, and it asks Windows to go get the template at that location. Windows dutifully tries (and tries and tries) to comply, repeatedly looking for the location. Each attempt times out, and the aggregate time spent in this vain attempt is quite noticeable.

A solution would be to use a macro to load each document in a directory and change the template attached to that document. The following is an example of such a macro:

Sub BatchTemplateChange()
    Dim sPathToTemplates As String
    Dim sPathToDocs As String
    Dim sDoc As String
    Dim dDoc As Document
    Dim sNewTemplate As String
    Dim i As Long

    On Error Resume Next
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    sNewTemplate = "normal.dotx"         'new template name
    sPathToDocs = Options.DefaultFilePath(wdDocumentsPath) & "\"
    sPathToTemplates = Options.DefaultFilePath(wdUserTemplatesPath) & "\"

    sDoc = Dir(sPathToDocs & "*.doc")

    While Len(sDoc) <> 0
        Set dDoc = Documents.Open(FileName:=sPathToDocs & sDoc)
        dDoc.AttachedTemplate = sPathToTemplates & sNewTemplate
        dDoc.Close wdSaveChanges
        sDoc = Dir
        i = i + 1
    Wend

    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    MsgBox "Finished: " & i & " documents changed"
End Sub

Note that the macro loads each document in the default document location, but that doesn't necessarily speed up the loading. The benefit of using the macro is that you can start it running and allow it to work while you are away from the computer.

Additional ideas for a programmatic approach can be found in the following article, which may be helpful to some readers:

http://www.edugeek.net/forums/scripts/35199-vba-script-change-word-document-template-location.html

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11405) 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: Updating Many Template References.

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

Using Dot Leaders in a Paragraph

Adding dot leaders to your text is easy through the application of tab stops. This tip explains the steps you need to ...

Discover More

Shortcut to Move between Two Worksheets

Moving between to adjacent worksheets is easy; Excel provides a shortcut key to do the trick. If you want to move between ...

Discover More

Deleting Paragraph Borders

Got a document that has a border around some paragraphs? Here's how you can get rid of the border using the tools on the ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Creating a Boilerplate Document

If you have several boilerplate documents you need to routinely use in Word, then you should learn how to use templates. ...

Discover More

Recovered Document becomes Default

Word has a feature called AutoRecover that helps you when Word or Windows crashes. If your Normal template gets messed up ...

Discover More

Create a Template that Stops Styles from Being Added to a Document

Limiting which styles a user can use or add to a document can be a tricky task. Fortunately, Word has advanced to the ...

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 5 - 4?

2020-04-02 06:10:40

lil chow

Our templates are located on our office server in a folder (s:\wood templates\!! for lil only).

When working at my home office, every time I open the letterhead template from that folder it always says:

"Downloading s:\wood templates\!! for lil only\letterhead.dotx"

My problem is that I do not want to see that annoying and time-consuming dialogue. How do I prevent this from happening?

Thanks


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.