Office - Word online templates

Here’s a very basic tip about Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You already know the basic concept. When you’ve prepared something that you might re-use, you can save it as a template. Click File / Save As / Save as type / Word Template (*.dotx).

Office - Word - save as template .dotx

When you create a new file from a template, the Office programs make a copy of the template for you to work on. You’ll be prompted to save the edited file with a new name, and the template won’t be changed.

It turns out things have changed between Office 2010 and Office 2013. Two questions have different answers:

  –  Where are the templates saved?

  –  How do you use the templates that you’ve saved?


File location of Custom Templates

When you click on File / Save As / Word Template (or Excel or Powerpoint), the program should automatically change to the correct location for custom templates. Make sure this is where your templates are saved!

     Office 2010

C:\ Users\ [UserName] \AppData\ Roaming\ Microsoft\ Templates

Note: AppData is a hidden folder. If you need to find it manually, you can get to it by browsing to C:\ Users\ [UserName] and typing in \Appdata after the user name in the address bar.

     Office 2013

C:\ Users\ [UserName] \ Documents\ Custom Office Templates

If you upgrade to Office 2013 and your custom templates are not moved automatically, Microsoft has a FixIt that will move them to the right place.

Templates are not synced by Windows 8 automatically if you’re using multiple Windows 8 computers, but it’s easy to sync them with Skydrive.

Office - default personal templates location


If you’re a Skydrive user, create a Skydrive folder named Templates, then manually set it as the location for custom templates in each Office program on each computer. The setting is under File / Options / Save / Default personal templates location.

Using Custom Templates

When you click on File / New, you’ll see a selection of online templates instead of custom templates that you have created.

In Office 2010, click on My Templates to see the custom templates stored in the default location.

Office - Word 2010 custom templates

In Office 2013, after you have created a custom template, you will see a new option for Personal when you click on File / New.

Office - Word 2013 custom templatesTemplates are powerful! If you’re not using them yet, it might be the next thing to learn about Microsoft Office. has a tutorial about Word templates that quickly dives very deep, but the first fifteen minutes would bring you up to speed on the basics.

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