Creating a Word template

Having learned how to format a document using Word styles, you might find it useful to create your own Word templates for different styles of documents you create in your business.

Why would you need a template?

Having created all the styles for one document (say, a business report), you might decide you’d like to use these again in all reports you do for your business in the future. You don’t have to re-create those styles every time though – instead, you could create them the once, and use that same basis again and again.

Setting up a template using an existing document

If you’ve already written a report with the set up you want for a report layout and styles in future, the easiest way to set up your Word template is to use this document as a basis for the template.

  1. Open the document that has your styles defined in it.
  2. Save it with a new name (it doesn’t really matter what that name is for this step – but make sure you know where you’ve saved it).
  3. Delete all the content out of the report. You might want to keep:
  • the early pages (if you have a title page, contents page, acknowledgements, tables of figures, etc)
  • one example of each style (heading 1, heading 2, etc, body text, list bullet, and so on)
  1. Go to the Saving a Word document as a template heading below.


Setting up a template using a new document

If you don’t already have a document set up with the layout and styles that you want for your business reports, use the following steps to do this.

  1. Open a new document.
  2. Set the document up as you’d like it to look. Think about setting/including:
  • margins
  • title page
  • contents page
  • acknowledgements
  • tables of figures
  • reference page
  • bibliography
  • headers and footers
  • anything else that you might want set out as standard in your reports.
  1. Set up the formatting for all your styles, as outlined in Formatting using Word Styles.
  2. Go to the Saving a Word document as a template heading below.


Saving a Word document as a template

  1. Click File > Save As.
    Result: the Save As window displays.
  2. Type the name for your new template into the File name field.
    Note: You might want to call it Report template (if it’s a report), or Brochure template (if it’s a brochure) – you get the idea.
  3. Click the dropdown to the right of the Save as type field.
    Result: the dropdown displays.
  4. Click Word Template (*.dotx).
  5. Check that the document is saving to the correct folder or location.
  6. Click Save.
    Result: the document saves as a template to your chosen location. When you want to create a new document using that template, open the template from that location, and it will create a new document for you, with your styles already available in it.


This has been a very basic guide to setting up a Word template. If you want to get fancy, you might want to include fields for typing in certain text (for example, the title of your document on the front page), or for generating certain things (the file name as a part of the document footer, for instance). Google and have a play!

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