Using Document Templates

Document templates are the perfect tool for when you find yourself typing and reformatting the same or similar documents repeatedly. You can set up the fonts, styles, page format, printer settings, and even text just once on a template and then use that template to create hundreds of documents.

Templates are quite useful when setting up documents to print on company letterhead. Usually letterhead requires a larger top and bottom margin, for example, and the letterhead paper is located in a different paper tray in the printer than plain white paper. In addition your company may have standardized on a specific font. A "letterhead" template will remember all these changes for you. Doesn't sound like a big benefit? Five or six minutes times 100 documents is 8 to 10 hours of lost productivity.

To create a template you begin by making the changes you desire to a document. Then you typically select the File, Save As... menu option. The box that appears will usually have a "Save As Type" option where you can select that this document should be saved as a template. If you are on a network you can save the template in a shared location for all users to access. If you are running Microsoft Office 97 from the network server, for example, this shared location is the "Y:\MSOffice\Template" directory.

To use a template you have created, with most programs you can select the File/New... menu option. The template you just saved should appear in a list. If you are using Office 97 or another program that comes with dozens of default templates the list may be fairly long. Office 97 organizes its templates into directories located under the shared template directory mentioned above. They appear as tabs in the File/New... dialog box.

August 1998

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