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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
In Office 2013, after you have created a custom template, you will see a new option for Personal when you click on File / New.
Templates are powerful! If you’re not using them yet, it might be the next thing to learn about Microsoft Office. Lynda.com 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.