How to Create and Use Microsoft Word Templates

Open, use, and create templates using any edition of Microsoft Word

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A template is a Microsoft Word document that already has some formatting in place, such as fonts, logos, and line spacing. It can be used as a starting point for almost anything you want to create. Word offers hundreds of free templates, including invoices, resumes, invitations, and form letters. This guide will show you how to open or create one.

This guide applies to Office 365, Word Online, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Word 2007, and Word 2003.

How to Open a Word Template

How you picking and use a template in Microsoft Word depends on the version you have.

For Newer Versions of Word

Select File > New and choose from one of the offered templates. If you don't see what you need, you can use the search bar to look for online templates. Press Create to open the template in a new document.

Microsoft Word templates

For Word 2007

To open a new template in Word 2007, select the Microsoft button > Open > Trusted Templates, then pick the one you want and hit Open.

For Word 2003

To open a new template in Word 2003, select File > New > Templates > My Computer. Pick a template and hit OK.

Once you open a new template, you can begin typing in your information. You might have to type over existing placeholder text, or there might be a blank area where you can insert copy. You can also add pictures where image placeholders exist.

Using Microsoft Word Template screenshots

How to Create a Word Template

To create your own Word template, open a new document and format it however you like. Consider adding a business name and address, a logo, and other entries. You can also choose specific fonts, font sizes, and font colors.

Once you have the document formatted the way you want it, go to File > Save As and choose Word Template (*.dotx) from the drop-down menu.

A screen shot of the Save A Copy area of Word 2016 with Word Template selected.