Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Change Which Template is Used When Microsoft Word 2007 Opens

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This tutorial will show you how to create a template in Microsoft Word 2007, and how to create a desktop shortcut so that every time you open Word, it will open a new document based on your preferred template.

To complete this tutorial, you need a computer with Windows XP operating system, and MS Word 2007.

This tutorial contains four parts:

—How to Create a Template
—How to Create a New Document Based on a Template
—How to Create a Desktop Shortcut for Your New Template
—How to Modify the Shortcut So That it Opens a Document Based on Your New Template

To create a template:

1. Open MS Word 2007.

2. Click the Microsoft Office Button.

Microsoft Office Button

3. Click New.

click new

4. In the New Document dialog box, click My templates.

my templates

5. In the New dialog box, under Create New, enable the Template radio button.

new dialog box

6. Click OK.

click OK

7. Make all changes to the various styles, margins, logos, footers, headers and anything else that you want to include as part of your new template.

Note: This tutorial does not provide information on how to change the Styles that will be part of your new template.

8. After you have made all your desired changes to your new template, click the Microsoft Office Button and then click Save.


Result: You should see the following dialog box. The template you are saving should be located in the Trusted Templates folder. And the default template file format is .dotx (see below).

trusted templates

Note: But wait! Where are the pre-existing templates that are loaded with MS Word 2007 when it comes out of the package? Those two templates are Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm. The "m" at the end of the file names indicates macro-enabled templates. For the real sticklers, you will note a small exclamation point on the .dotm icons, which also alerts you to the fact that they are macro-enabled.


Tip: if you wish to make your new template macro-enabled, click the drop down arrow next to Save as type, and select .dotm.


9. Name your new template and click Save.

name new template

Great! You have created your new template. If you want to create a new document based on that template, here's how:

To create a new document based on a template:

1. Open MS Word 2007.

2. Click the Microsoft Office Button.

Microsoft Office Button

3. Click New.

Click new

4. Click My Templates.

my templates

5. Select the template that you want to use.

selecting template

6. Under Create New, ensure the Document radio button is enabled, and then click OK.

Of course, you still have another document open that you have to close before starting to work on the document based on the template you want to use. Seven steps to start working on a document based on a template other than normal.dotm, which is the default template that is used whenever you open MS Word 2007.

But there is a much easier way. You can create a desktop shortcut so that when you click to open Word, a new document based on the template you want to use opens immediately. In fact, you can create as many desktop icons as you want using as many different templates as you want.

To clarify, these steps do not involve changing normal.dotm, nor deleting normal.dotm and renaming another template you have created as normal.dotm (other popular methods for ensuring the default templates matches your specifications).

Those other options have their appeal. But imagine that you have built up a detailed template over time and decide that now you want to use it as your default (or simply, one of your many commonly used templates). The thought of tweaking normal.dotm to match the template you have taken a long time to perfect just isn't appealing.

On to the second part of this tutorial! 

To create a desktop shortcut for your new template:

1. Right-click on an open space on your desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut.

new shortcut

2. In the Create Shortcut dialog box that appears, click Browse, and locate the WINWORD.EXE icon.

create shortcut dialog box

Note: the standard location for WINWORD.EXE is:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE

browse to local disk

browse to program files

browse to office

3. Click on WINWORD.EXE to highlight it, and then click OK.

highlight winword.exe

4. In the Create Shortcut Dialog box, click Next.

create shortcut dialog box

5. Type  a name for your desktop shortcut, and then click Finish.

name for shortcut

You're still not quite finished! Now we are going to tweak the shortcut so that it opens a new document based on the new template that you have created.

To modify the shortcut so it opens a document based on your new template:

1. Right click the shortcut you created in the previous section, and then click Properties.

right-click desktop icon

click properties

Result: You should now see the Standard Use Properties dialog box. In the shortcut tab, you should see the path to WINWORD.EXE in the Target text box. 

standard use template

2. Leave the Standard Use Properties dialog box open. You will return to it in step 4.

3. Locate the template that you created in the first part of this tutorial. The most likely location for the template is:

C:\Documents and Settings\K\ApplicationData\Microsoft\Templates

With the "K" representing the user name that you assigned when you first loaded Windows XP onto your computer.

When you find the location of your new template, copy the location from the address bar.

location of template

Tip: if you can not find this location on your system, you may have to change Windows XP so that you can view hidden files and folders. To do this: In Windows Explorer (accessible from My Documents, for example), click Tools and then Folder Options. Next, in the Folder Options dialog box, click the View tab, enable the Show hidden files and folders radio button, click Apply, and then click OK.

folder options

view folder options

show hidden files

4. Return to the Standard Use Properties dialog box that you opened in steps 1 and 2.

5. In the Target text box, navigate to the end of the line of text, and then add one space.

Note: ensure that the space comes after the quotation mark.

6. After the space that you have added, insert a forward slash (/), followed by a "t" (without the quotation marks), and then followed by an opening quotation mark (").

7. Directly after the quotation mark, paste in the location of the template that you copied in step 3 of this section.

template location

Warning: it is very important that you have no space after the "t." If a space is added there, and all other steps are followed, clicking the new desktop shortcut will open the template itself, and not a document based on the template. 

8. Navigate to the end of the line of text that points to your new template. Add a backslash, the name of your template and its file extension, and a closing quotation mark.

closing quotation

9. Click OK.

click OK

You are finished! You now have a desktop shortcut that, when you double click it, will open a new document based on the new template that you created earlier. Double-click the new icon to ensure that it is working.

At the top of the new document, you should see Document 1. And, you can confirm that the document is based on the correct template either by checking what are probably unique style settings that you should recognize, and/or clicking the Developer tab, clicking Document Template, and verifying that the correct template appears under Document template.

document 1

document template

templates and add ins


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