Chapter 2. Creating and Saving Documents
You can't get much done in Word without creating and saving documentsand once you've used Word even a little, you'll know it's a good idea to save a document immediately after creating it to ensure that you don't lose work if Word, Windows, or your computer crashes.
Creating a new document is simple in a basic word processor, but Word, being more complex, offers templates that can both help and hinder you. Templates can save you a lot of time, but they can also cause problemsfor example, they sometimes become corrupted, and you might even find that your new "blank" document always contains unwanted text that you must dispose of before you can work in your document.
Saving could be simple tooif Word didn't provide a whole tab's
worth of save options to confuse the issue. Some of these options
are pretty much
Last but nothing like least, you may make the often-fatal
mistake of using Word's master document feature for that huge,
all-important project you're working on.... Read on to learn how to
minimize master document annoyances, hassles, and
When I start Word, I get a document that already contains texta letter I wrote last month. I have to select the text and delete it before I can start working on my new document. The same thing happens when I click the New Blank Document button on the Standard toolbarthe document I get isn't blank at all.
You've somehow saved your document into
the global template that's always
Options, click the File Locations tab, click the "
Choose File Open, navigate to the templates folder, choose "Document templates in the "Files of type" drop-down list, and open Normal.dot . Delete the offending text, choose File Save, and then choose File Close.
My work involves creating many documents in three basic types:
Create a template for each type of document you need to create. Choose File New and click either "On my computer (in Word 2003) or "General templates" (in Word XP) in the New Document task pane to display the Templates dialog box. In Word 2000, choose File New to display the equivalent New dialog box.
Select the existing template on which you want to base the new
template; for example, choose Blank Document if you want to start
from scratch, or one of the letter templates if you need to create
a letter. Select the Template option and click the OK button.
and assign the new template a descriptive
Lay out and format the document, entering any text that all documents based on this template will need. For example, in the template for a customer service letter, you might enter the entire document except for the customer's address, the details of the complaint, and the response or resolution.
Use styles to apply formatting consistently throughout the document. (Chapter 4 discusses styles.)
Create AutoText and AutoCorrect entries for
Save the changes to the template, and then close it.
To create a document based on a template, open the Templates or New dialog box as described above. Select the template, and then click the OK button.
I often need to create new documents based on existing
documents, but it's not worth creating templates. Copying the
In any version of Word, open the document and use File Save As to save it under a different name or in a different folder. Change the new document as necessary.
Word 2003 and Word XP provide another way to create a document based on an existing document. In Word 2003, choose File New and click "From existing document in the New Document task pane; in Word XP, choose File New and click "Choose document in the New Document task pane. In the New from Existing Document dialog box, select the document and click the Create New button.
Most of the templates in the Templates dialog box have preview pictures. I want to add previews to my custom templates so that users can get an idea of what they're used for.
Open the template (choose File Open, or right-click the template in a Windows Explorer window and choose Open from the shortcut menu). Choose File Properties, click the Summary tab, check the "Save preview picture box, and then click the OK button. Save the template and close it.
The Templates dialog box doesn't let you browse for templates that aren't located in the default folder.
The problem is that Word doesn't know where your templates are
unless they're in one of its two templates folders: the
folder and the
folder. Each of these folders can have as many
You can use Windows shortcuts to tell Word where your templates are:
To add a template to the General tab of the Templates/New dialog box, put a shortcut to the template in your user templates folder or your workgroup templates folder.
To add a folder of templates that will appear as a new tab in the Templates/New dialog box, put a shortcut to the folder in your user templates folder or your workgroup templates folder.
By default, the user templates folder is set during installation to a folder within your user profile (for example, %userprofile%\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates ). The workgroup templates folder is not set during a conventional installation (although it can be set during a scripted installation)if you don't have a workgroup templates folder assigned and you can store your templates in one folder (or its subfolders), you can make that folder your workgroup folder. Choose Tools Options, click the File Locations tab, double-click the "Workgroup templates item, select the folder in the Modify Location dialog box, and then click the OK button twice. Your templates will then appear in the Templates/New dialog box (see Figure 2-1).
MANAGING YOUR TEMPLATE FOLDERS
There's a limited amount of space on the two rows of tabs in the
Templates/New dialog box, so plan your template folders
Another option is to create a document directly from a template. Open a Windows Explorer window to the folder that contains the template, and then double-click the template. (The default action in Windows for a Word template is to create a new document based on it, not to open the template. To open the template, right-click it and choose Open.)