Software & Apps MS Office How to Create and Use Microsoft Word Templates Make your word processing tasks easier with this handy feature By Joli Ballew Writer Joli Ballew is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and Microsoft MVP, Lynda.com trainer, Microsoft Press author, and college professor. our editorial process Joli Ballew Updated December 06, 2019 Westend61 / Getty Images MS Office Word Excel Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email A template is a Microsoft Word document that has some formatting in place, such as fonts, logos, and line spacing. Templates exist for many types of documents, for example, party invitations, flyers, and resumes. They can be used as a starting point when you want to create a specific type of document without starting from scratch. Word offers hundreds of free templates for you to use, or you can create your own. This guide offers directions for both. Instructions in this article apply to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. How to Open a Word Template You can have a template open using just a couple of steps. Open Word. Go to the ribbon, select File, then select New. Select a template style. In the template preview screen, select Create. If you don't like any of the options shown on the main screen, choose one of the categories at the top of the screen, or use the search bar to perform a search. After you open a template, replace the placeholder text with your own or start from scratch in blank areas. You can also add pictures to replace the image placeholders. To replace existing text, select it and type your own text. To replace an image, right-click the image and select Change Picture. Save the file with a descriptive name. How to Create a Word Template You can also create your own custom Word template. Here's how: Open Word, then go to the ribbon and select File. Select New > Blank document. Add any elements you like, such as a business name and address, a logo, and other elements. You can also choose specific fonts, font sizes, and font colors. Once you have the document formatted the way you want it, go to the ribbon and select File > Save As. Enter a descriptive name for the template, select the File Type drop-down arrow and choose Word Template (*.dotx), then select Save. To create a new document based on the template, open the template, give it a new name, and edit the document to include the new information.