Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Thinking Through Your Template Design
Tip
If you don’t see the file extensions by default and would like to display them, click
Start in Windows 7, choose Computer, and then click Organize. Click Folder and Search
Options and choose View. Clear the check box beside Hide Extensions For Known File
Types, and then click OK. The file extensions will appear on your files.
Thinking Through Your Template Design
The best time to design a template is before you begin creating one. Yes, you can easily
adapt an existing template or change a document you particularly like to work as a
template for future documents, but carefully considering what you’d like to accomplish with a
template before you start it is the best way to meet your document goals.
Watch your document workflow. Whether you work as part of a large business
or a small team, pay attention to where documents begin—and where they end—in
your particular organization. Do documents tend to stay within departments? Do
documents find their way out to the public with a variety of looks and logos? Does
one person shepherd the creation of all new documents to ensure that everything
you create has a consistent look and feel?
Keep an eye on the design. Chances are that you already have some kind of
design at work in your traditional documents. Maybe that design is nothing more
than simple black text on a white page; or you might have a color logo, a distinctive
font, or other design elements that you use regularly on your business cards,
newsletters, and more. Revisit your design with an artist’s eye and ask yourself how well the
colors, font, and style its your business today. Is it time for a makeover? If so, gather
a sample of each type of document you’d like to include in the new design (the more
comprehensive the change, the better), and consider all the documents you want to
change as you begin to think through what you’d like to include in a template.
Consider your assets. In some businesses or organizations, including graphics—
photos, diagrams, charts, clip art, and more—is an important part of the document
creation. Do you use many photos in your documents? Do your documents regularly
feature product images, staff photos, or project diagrams?
Think about how you use data. Will the people who read your documents be
asked to provide information in fields or forms? Will you incorporate data from a
data source (such as your Outlook contacts list) as part of a larger mail merge
project? If you regularly incorporate data from outside sources in your documents, you
can include content controls in your template to help accommodate that need.
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