Examining Styles and Macros in a Template

Templates are designed to contain a collection of styles, macros, and other customizations that can be used to help consistently develop a document or series of documents. If you receive a template from someone else (or open one that you created years ago) you may wonder if there is a way to display the details of the styles and macros contained within that template.

There is no built-in way to do this, unfortunately. (It would be very helpful if there was.) Word allows you to relatively easily see which styles are in a template or, for that matter, in a document. All you need to do is load the template and use the Organizer to look at the styles it contains. If you prefer, you could use a macro to list in a new document all the styles in the current one. There are many ways ot approach such a task; the following is one written by Jessica Weissman:

Sub describeAllStylesWeCareAbout()
'  by Jessica Weissman

    Dim docActive As Document
    Dim docNew As Document
    Dim styleLoop As Style

    Set docActive = ActiveDocument
    Set docNew = Documents.Add
    For Each styleLoop In docActive.Styles
        If styleLoop.Type < 3 Then
        ' show only character and paragraph styles, not list or table styles
            With docNew.Range
                .InsertAfter Text:=styleLoop.NameLocal & Chr(9) _
                  & styleLoop.Description
                .InsertParagraphAfter
                .InsertParagraphAfter
            End With
        End If
    Next styleLoop
End Sub

The problem with either approach (Organizer or special macro) is that they don't list any modifications to built-in styles that are often so important to effectively designing a template. For instance, if the Normal style on a system is normally set to 10-point Arial and that has been changed to 12-point Times New Roman in the template, there is no way with the above solutions to tell that this change has been made; you only know that the template uses the Normal style. (Duh! All templates contain the Normal style.)

When it comes to macros, you need to load the template and simply go look in the Visual Basic Editor. There is where you'll find the macros and be able to try to figure out what they do. (Make sure you use the Project window to look for VBA projects specifically associated with the template.)

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