Software

Office solution: What's the quickest way to find Word's templates?

Learn two three-click routes to the default Office templates folder from Word. You'll also learn a quick route via Windows Explorer.

Office stores all your templates in the same folder, which is supposed to make management a bit easier for you. Unfortunately, that arrangement sometimes confuses users. When asked to help, you'll want the quickest route to the templates folder. Eljensen was the first to respond with one of the quickest routes I know of:

  1. Click the File tab (the Office button in Word 2007 or the File menu in Word 2003).
  2. Choose New.
  3. Click My Templates. Windows 7 users should click My Templates under Templates in the left pane. In Word 2007, you'll find options in the New Document pane.

This route lets you open templates stored in the default template folder. It takes three clicks to find this folder and its contents. John_williams suggested another three-click route in Word 2007 and 2010:

  1. Click the File tab or Office button.
  2. Choose Open.
  3. Click Trusted Templates in the Favorite Places bar. (On a Windows 7 system, click Templates under Microsoft Office Word.)

This route opens the template as a template document.

To complicate things, the location of the default template folder varies. Another quick way to find the default templates folder is to enter

%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates

in Windows Explorer. If Windows Explorer isn't open, you can enter the same string in the Run app (Start menu). If you're using Windows 7, you can also enter the same string in the Search box (Start menu). Either will open the templates folder in the Windows Explorer.

Zimmerwoman and Cuhlig were both close - nice try!

My best template advice is to make a backup of Normal.dot before making changes. In Windows Explorer, click Normal.dot and choose Copy from the Edit menu. Then, choose Paste from the Edit menu, and Windows will create Copy of Normal.dot in the same folder. I've rarely seen anyone need the copy, but if you do, you'll be glad you took this extra step. If you want to start over with a clean copy of Normal.dot, simply browse to the Templates folder and delete Normal.dot. Word will create a new version of the template the next time you launch Word.

Thanks everyone for another fun Office challenge!

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

1 comments
Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

If you have a better solution to the one's presented here, tell us about it in the discussion.

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