Create a document

Getting started with a basic document in Microsoft Office Word is as easy as opening a new or existing document and starting to type. Whether you start a document from scratch or rework an existing document, you can follow a few basic steps to ensure high-quality results and you can quickly complete a professional, well-designed document .

Key elements of a complex document include headers and footers, page numbers, citations, equations, a bibliography, a table of contents, and an index. You can also use any of these elements to create a document template that you can use again and again. You can find out more about all of these additional document elements by typing any of these terms into the Search box while you are using Word.

Tip: If you want to create a specific type of document, such as a business plan or a resumé, you can save time by starting with a template. The Templates on Microsoft Office Online web site provides templates for many types of documents, including resumés, cover letters, business plans, business cards, and APA-style papers.

What do you want to do?

Open a new document and start typing

Start a document from a template

Delete a document

What's next

Open a new document and start typing

  1. If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click New. If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2010, 2013 or 2016, click File, and then click New.

  2. Double-click Blank document.

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Start a document from a template

To use a template as a starting point, do one of the following:

  1. If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2007, click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click New. If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2010, 2013 or 2016, click File, and then click New.

  2. Under Templates, do one of the following:

    • If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2007, click Installed Templates to select a template that is available on your computer. If you are using Microsoft Office Word 2010, look in Available Templates

    • In Microsoft Office Word 2007, click one of the links under Microsoft Office Online. In Microsoft Office Word 2010, click Office.com Templates. In Microsoft Office Word 2013 and 2016, all available installed templates are shown when you click File, and then click New and additional templates can be discovered by using the Search for online templates search box.

  3. Double-click the template that you want.

Save and reuse templates

If you make changes to a template that you download, you can save it on your computer and use it again. It's easy to find all your customized templates by clicking My templates in the New Document dialog box. To save a template in the My templates folder, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Save As.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, click Templates.

  4. In the Save as type list, select Word Template.

  5. Type a name for the template in the File name box, and then click Save.

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Delete a document

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Open.

  3. Locate the file that you want to delete.

  4. Right-click the file, and then click Delete on the shortcut menu.

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What's next

After you create your document, you might want to change the formatting, or you might want to add a picture, a table, or a cover page. For more information about working in your document, see the following:

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