How to Find Microsoft Word Templates Online

Screenshot of Microsoft Office online templates


Microsoft Office includes many ready-to-use templates built right into the software. However, if you’re looking for a particular style or layout for your document but can't find it among the templates included with Word, don't worry — you don't have to create one from scratch.

The Microsoft Office Online site is an excellent resource in your search for the right template. Microsoft offers a variety of additional Word templates on the Office website.

The procedure outlined below works for Microsoft Word 2019, Word 2016, Word for Office365 and Word for Mac.

What Is a Template?

If you're new to Word and unfamiliar with templates, here's a quick primer.

A Microsoft Office template in a pre-formatted document file type that creates a copy of itself when you open it. These versatile files help you to quickly create documents users commonly need, such as flyers, research papers and resumes with no manual formatting. Template files for Microsoft Word use the extensions .dot or .dotx, depending on your version of the word, or .dotm, which are macro-enabled templates.

When you open a template, a new document is created with all formatting already in place, ready for you to customize it as needed with your content (for example, inserting the recipients on a fax cover sheet name). You can then save the document with its own unique filename.

How to Access Online Templates

Access to Microsoft Office's online templates is built into Word but is not immediately saved in the software itself. Follow these steps to find and download templates (note that you may need to update your version of Office to access templates from within Word):

  1. Click the File tab in the top menu.

  2. Click on New to start a new document.

  3. Word opens with a list of templates already available to use. Select a template, or use the search box to find alternative templates by keyword.

    Microsoft Word's new-file screen.
  4. When you have found a template, click it. Word displays, for most templates, a pop-up box describing the template. Select the Create button to open the template.

    Microsoft Word with a template's information box displayed.
  5. Edit your document as normal.

Word on the Mac

For Microsoft Word for Mac, the procedure is similar.

  1. Click the File tab in the top menu.

  2. Click New from Template.

  3. Scroll down to template list and click Online Templates.

  4. Select the category of template you want. To the right, you will see the templates available for download.

  5. Click the template you want. To the right, you will see a thumbnail image of the template. Click Choose in the lower right corner of the window. The template will download and open a newly formatted document ready for use.

Downloading Templates from the Office Online Website

Depending on your version of Word, your web browser will either display templates within Word or open the Office templates page in your web browser.

If you have on an older version of Word that is no longer supported by Microsoft, such as Word 2003, you may get an error page when Word attempts to open the Office Online page in your web browser. If this is the case, you can go directly to the Office Online templates page.

Once you're there, you can search by Office program or by theme. When you search by program, you’re given the option of searching by document type.

When you find a template that suits your needs, click the Download Now link. It will open for editing in Word.