How to Find Microsoft Word Templates Online

Find a particular style for your work

Woman hands working with blank screen laptop computer.

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Microsoft Office includes many ready-to-use templates built right into the software. But, if you’re looking for a particular style or layout for your document and you 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 just the right template.

The procedure outlined below works for Word for Office 365, Microsoft Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word for Mac.

What Is a Template?

If you're new to Word, templates are pre-formatted document file types that create a copy of themselves when opened. These versatile files help you quickly create documents like flyers, research papers, and resumes with no manual formatting. Template files for Microsoft Word use the extensions .dot, .dotx, or .dotm.

When you open a template, Word opens a new document with all formatting already in place, ready for you to customize as needed. You can then save the document with its own unique filename.

How to Access Online Templates

You can find and download Microsoft Office's online templates directly in Word. Here's how:

  1. Select File > New to start a new document.

  2. Select a template or use the search box to find alternatives.

    Microsoft Word's new-file screen.
  3. When you find the template you want to use, select it to see a preview and description. Select the Create button to open the template.

    Microsoft Word with a template's information box displayed.

How to Access Online Templates for Word on the Mac

The process for finding and opening a new template on Microsoft Word for Mac is similar to the Windows version.

  1. Select File > New from Template.

  2. Scroll down to template list and select Online Templates.

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

  4. Select the template you want. On the right, you'll see a thumbnail image. Select 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 the app itself or open the Office templates page in your web browser.

If you have on an older version of Word that's 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.