Save a Word document as a template

In Microsoft Word 2003, you can create a template by saving a document as a .dot file. A template is a document type that creates a copy of itself when you open it. 

Note: Because templates can store macro viruses, be careful about opening them or creating files based on new templates. Take the following precautions: run up-to-date antivirus software on your computer, set your macro security level to high, clear the Trust all installed add-ins and templates check box, use digital signatures, and maintain a list of trusted sources.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • To save as a template based on an existing document:

      1. On the File menu, click Open.

      2. Open the document that you want.

    • To save as a new template based upon an existing template:

      1. On the File menu, click New.

      2. In the New Document task pane, under Templates, click On my computer.

      3. Click a template that is similar to the one that you want to create, click Template under Create new, and then click OK.

  2. On the File menu, click Save As.

  3. In the Save as type box, click Document Template. This file type will already be selected if you are saving a file that you created as a template.

  4. The default folder is the Templates folder in the Save in box. To save the template so that it will appear on a tab other than General, switch to the corresponding subfolder or create a new subfolder within the Templates folder.

  5. In the File name box, type a name for the new template, and then click Save.

  6. In the new template, add the text and graphics you want to appear in all new documents that you base on the template, and delete any items you don't want to appear.

  7. Make the changes you want to the margin settings, page size and orientation, styles, and other formats.

  8. On the Standardtoolbar, click Save Button image , and then click Close on the File menu.


  • For more templates and wizards, visit the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

  • To make AutoText entries and macros available only to documents based on this template, store them in this template, not in the Normal template.

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