Word: Apply a template

May 21, 2019

Before Word 2007, it was easy to apply/attach/link to a template via Tools > Options > Templates and Add-Ins. Not quite so simple once Word 2007 was introduced (instructions for Word 2007: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/word-2007-apply-a-template/).

The steps changed again after Word 2010, and the steps below work for all versions of Word for Windows from Word 2010 to Word 365.

First, check if you have the Developer tab on your ribbon. If you do, skip these steps and go to the next set. If you don’t, then follow these steps:

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon.
  2. In the right panel, check the Developer checkbox.
  3. Click OK.

Once you’ve got the Developer tab set up:

  1. Click the Developer tab.
  2. Click the Document Template button in the Templates group. This opens the Templates and Add-ins window, which works the same as in earlier versions of Word.
  3. Click Attach.
  4. Find your template, select it, then click Open.
  5. Optional: If you want to apply the template’s style settings to styles of the same name in your document, then check Automatically update document styles.
  6. Click OK.

Note 1: If you checked Automatically update document styles in step 5, then I STRONGLY suggest you turn it off again after you’ve attached the template and updated the styles automatically.

Note 2: Applying a template only affects styles. Other aspects of the template (content, headers/footers, page margins etc.) are not carried across into your existing document.

[Link last checked May 2019]

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