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Installing Word Templates

Double-clicking a Word document template in Windows Explorer will create a new document based on the styles in the template. For convenience, however, you can have your content templates appear in the New Document dialog and library templates (such as our Core Library template) can be loaded automatically.

Adding Templates to the New Document Dialog

To have your document templates appear in the dialog, you need to move (or copy) them into your Template folder using Windows Explorer. The location of the templates folder depends on the operating system you are using and it can be changed in Word by the end-user (you!) or a system administrator, if you are on a network.

Finding the Templates Folder

In Windows XP, the folder location is usually: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates\

In Windows Vista, it is usually: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\

However, unless you’ve asked Windows to show hidden files and folders, the Application Data/AppData folder may not be visible in Windows Explorer. If the folders aren’t visible you can:

  1. Tell Windows Explorer to show hidden files and folders: choose Folder Options from the Tools menu. Select the View page, and in the Advanced Settings list, select Show hidden files and folders.
  2. Type the path into the Windows Explorer address bar, if it is visible. This works, even if the folders are hidden. The address bar is always visible in Vista. If it isn’t visible in XP, choose Toolbars → Address Bar from the View menu.
  3. Use Word to open the folder (see below).
Choose Explore from the context menu to open the Templates folder

One of the easiest ways to find the Templates folder is to open it from within Word using this simple trick. It is much easier to do than explain, but here is the step-by-step process:

  1. Open Word’s Options dialog by selecting Options from the Tools menu.
  2. Switch to the File Locations tab.
  3. Select the User templates item from the File Types list.
  4. Click the Modify button. We aren’t going to modify the location, but clicking this button will show a standard Windows file dialog.
  5. Note the name of the current folder at the top of the dialog box. This is Word’s template folder.
  6. Now move up one level in the file dialog that appears.
  7. Find the template folder in the file dialog and right click on it. It is usually called Templates. Choose Explore from the context menu that appears. A new Windows Explorer window will open where you can move or copy your templates.

Organizing the Templates Folder

You can organise templates into groups by placing them inside sub-folders of the Templates folder. A separate tab for each sub-folder is displayed in Word’s New Document dialog.

Automatically Loading Templates

You can make macros, keyboard shortcuts and autotext entries available to all documents by storing them in a template and automatically loading the template when Word starts. To automatically load a template when Word starts, place a shortcut to the template in Words startup folder.

The location of the Startup folder can be changed by users and administrators. In Windows XP, the startup folder is usually: C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup\

In Windows Vista, it is usually: C:\Users\<user name>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup\

To find out where Word expects to find startup items, open the Options dialog from Word’s Tools menu. On the File Locations page, you find a Startup entry. This is the path where Word expects to find items to load at startup. You can use the trick described above to open this folder from Word.

Download Report Templates

You can find a number of Word templates for reports and technical writing on our site including a: