Save time by creating custom Word 2010 templates

About Templates

In previous articles, we've shown how a template is the format that a new document comes in, before you add any text or pictures of your own. The default template is a blank document, with standard margins and no text, but you can choose other options from any of Word's ready-prepared templates, as well as from an online selection via Office.com and other sources, to quickly complete a standard document.

As you can see, by using one of these impressive-looking templates, you can have most of your document completed before you begin. (See the article ‘Word 2010 Templates for Time Saving' for a step-by-step guide to using ready made templates). In this article, we will examine how you can create your own templates or customise an existing Microsoft document template to conform to your company's standard.

How to Create Your Own Document Template

If you've already set out a document the way you want it, you can use your document layout as a template for future, similar documents. For example, perhaps you have a particular way of structuring holiday request forms or invoices and would like to use this layout as a company standard. Let's look at how to create your own document template.

First, open your document as usual (File, Open) and edit the document until you have a version which will be easy to add information to every time you use it. Once you're happy with your template design, from the File tab, click Save As, name your template, then from the File Type drop down menu choose Word Template.

How to Customise an Existing Word Template

Word has a variety of templates that may be similar to a document type that you'd like to create repeatedly, such as a flyer or an invoice. However it might not be exactly what you would like. for example, perhaps you want to insert the company logo, a watermark, page numbering or other information into every new version of that document.

To customise an existing Word 2010 template, open the existing template you want to work from by clicking File, New, selecting the a group of templates and then clicking on the specific template you want. Below the large view of the template are two options, Document and Template: choose Template and then Create. A new document will appear, set out like the template you've chosen (in this case, a letter).

Simply select the text using your mouse and start typing your own text. For example, click and highlight the words "[Type the salutation]" then type "Dear Sir/Madam". Continue to change and delete text, until you see the blank letter template you would like to use every time you type a letter.

Then choose Save As from the File tab to write and preserve your new template's correct name. It's important that the File Type in the Save As Type dialogue box is set to Word Template. To use the template in future, click File, choose New and then click My Templates. You'll find your customised template there, ready to use.