Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Understanding How Templates Work
Note
You can still use templates created and saved in the Word 97-2003 Document file
format (.dot) in Compatibility Mode in Word 2010. Not all program functionality will be
available to you—for example, themes work only in Word 2007 or Word 2010—but if
you want (or need) to preserve continuity with an older template, you can do so. You
will need to remember to use the Save As dialog box to save your document in the
earlier template format (.dot) using the Word 97-2003 Document file format.
Understanding How Templates Work
So every document you create is based on a template that contains the structure and tools
for shaping the style, formatting, content, and page layout of finished files. Most templates
on Office.com include visual elements such as graphics, Content Controls, and custom
Building Blocks that are associated with the template. In contrast, Word 2010 bases new,
blank documents on the Normal template which, by default, contains no visual elements.
The Normal template is discussed in more detail in the next section.
The main purpose of templates is to make formatting and inserting information into
documents as efficient, error-free, and automatic as possible. The fewer formatting and typing
tasks you have to perform, the better. In addition to speeding up document creation, you
can provide custom editing environments for particular projects and clients because
templates can also include interface tools (such as a customized Quick Access Toolbar or a
customized Ribbon) as well as the previous list of content and layout settings.
Regardless of the information included in templates or whether your template includes
macros, you can use two main types of templates when you work in Word:
Global templates These templates (most notably the Normal and Building Blocks
templates) contain settings that are available to all documents regardless of the
template used to create the document.
Document templates Examples include letterhead and those from Office.com,
which contain settings that are available only to documents based on that template.
When a document is based on a template, the template is attached, or linked, to the
document, and the settings stored in the document template are made available through this
link. Having the ability to choose the type of template changes you want to apply gives you
the flexibility to affect changes in the current document alone or to create changes that
affect all documents you create in Word 2010.
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