Apply template to an existing Word document file

  • Kaushik Gopal

    I have a bunch of really old system manuals that need to be updated, but I can't for the life of me imagine opening each one up and applying the styles, ensuring font remains same, size color, etc.

    I have a template saved (header and footer with logo, etc) and want to apply the standard header and footer across multiple documents.


  • Answers
  • harrymc

    From Quickly Formatting Multiple Documents for Word 2007 (I hope that for Excel it may be somewhat similar):

    1. Display the Developer tab of the ribbon and then click on the Document Template tool. Word displays the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box.
    2. Click on the Attach button. Word displays the Attach Template dialog box, which looks very much like a standard Open dialog box.
    3. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate and select the template you want attached to your document.
    4. Click on Open. The Attach Template dialog box disappears and the name of the template you selected appears in the Document Template box.
    5. Select the "Automatically Update Document Styles" check box to make sure that the styles in the template are applied to your document.
    6. Click on OK.

    If you don't see the Developer tab necessary for step 1, then you need to make the tab visible. You do that by clicking the Office button and then clicking the Word Options button. In the resulting Word Options dialog box, the Popular option should be selected at the left. Make sure the Show Developer Tab in Ribbon check box is selected and click OK.

    For older versions of Word, please see the above article.

    You'll still need to open each document in order to use the above method.

  • Ellen Finkelstein

    In Word 2010, you need to go to the Options dialog box, click the Customize Ribbon item and choose Developer tab on the right side. This displays the Developer tab.

    I thought this was pretty obscure. Imagine having to go to the Developer tab to attach a template! It should be on the Page Layout tab.

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    templates - What would keep a Microsoft Word AutoNew() macro from running?
  • Chris Nelson

    I'm using Microsoft Office 2003 and creating a bunch of template documents to standardize some tasks.

    I know it's standard practice to put the templates in an certain place Office expects to find them but that won't work for me. What I want is to have "My Template" and "My Template", etc. in the "My Foo Bar Stuff" on a shared drive and users will double click on the template to create a new Foo or Bar.

    What's I'd really like is for the user to double click on the Foo template and be prompted for a couple of items related to their task (e.g., a project number) and have a script in the template change the name that Save will default to something like "Foo for Project 1234.doc".

    I asked on Google Groups and got an answer that worked....for a while. Then my AutoNew macro stopped kicking in when I created a new document by double clicking on the template. I have no idea why or how to debug it.

    I'm a software engineering with 25+ years of experience but a complete Office automation noob. Specific solutions and pointers to "this is how to automate Word" FAQs are welcome. Thanks.

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  • AdamV

    Changing macro security to simply not run macros (rather than always running, or prompting the user) would do this. Tools > Macros > Security: High or Very High could be killing yours off

    When you get your new document, can you run the macro by hand? (I don't mean as a workaround, just as a test to see if they are disabled or if something else is failing)

    Not sure why you can't put these in an "expected location". If you put them on a file share you can easily point Word at that location for Workgroup templates without affecting locally stored templates. When a user goes to File > New they get all their local templates, plus any in the Workgroup templates folder. Each folder from those two places appears as a tab (automagically) and if both location have a folder of the same name their contents are merged. If a template of the same name appears in a matching folder in both, the local version is shown.

    To change workgroup templates location go to Tools > options > file location. Give it a full path, ideally UNC rather than share. You can enable this folder for offline use in the usual way (ie browse to it and right click > make available offline).

    You can use Group Policy to set this location if you prefer.

    Ideally give most users read-only access to this folder, not modify.

    Heope this helps