Q: Word 2016 - "Templates" - how to save changes?

I think I understand how the Normal template works, and that you can create additional templates to make life easier.

I work for a company and for continuity I've created 'templates' e.g. a quote which contains our header, footer (with company details), and some basic prompt information such as customer name, for the attention of, title for the quote, and space for text.

This has been saved as a DOTX format.

This is so that other users cannot accidentally save over the top of the original document so that it remains unadulterated.

My problem; however, occurs when I need to make a change to the template.

This can be an overhaul of the template or simply changing the review date (which I need to do on many, many documents every year)

It's a problem because it is very time consuming having to perform the following steps:

  • Save file
  • find original template (as word automatically choose a default location, and not the location where the original file was saved)
  • copy the file name
  • add a '1' (or similar) to the end of the name because you can't save over the top of the template (because it's open and you're trying to save it.
  • close the file down
  • delete the old file
  • remove the differentiator (e.g. the '1') from the name of the file.

This is considerably more steps than just being able to save over the top with some sort of administrator privileges.

And when you have hundreds of documents that need this to be done every year, sometimes more often - this is incredibly time consuming.

Does any one a way to balance not allowing a file to be saved over with being able to save over it under certain conditions - such as entering an admin mode or something?



You can open the template file directly, just as you would a document, edit it, then save. When you double-click a .dotx or .dotm file in Windows Explorer, the default action is New, so you get a new document based on the template. But you can right-click and choose Open instead. In Word, when you select a template from the New dialog (or equivalent), you get a new document (in some versions of the dialog you can choose instead to create a new template), but if you navigate to the location of the template in Word's Open dialog, you can open it just as you would a document.

It sounds as if you're creating a new document based on the template and then saving it as a template. Be aware that this will not incorporate macros, AutoText, keyboard shortcuts, etc., that you may have stored in the template, as these are not included in documents based on the template.

For more on working with templates, see

Microsoft MVP (Word) since 1999
Fairhope, Alabama USA

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There is a big difference between a template and a document.

Templates in Microsoft Word

If you are creating templates, I recommend reviewing that. It will save you time and angst.

You open a template by right-clicking on it and choosing Open or by using Open within Word.

Take a look at the versioning Add-In by Graham Mayor. Save numbered versions

Store your templates in a separate folder. Likely not the one that Word chooses for you. Look at the idea of Workgroup Templates.

Charles Kenyon
Attorney at Law
Madison, Wisconsin

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Views: 585 Last updated: December 22, 2017 Applies to: