Keep all your team members on the same page with a handy Word template


byJulie Duncan

Application: Microsoft Word2002/2003/2007/2010/2013

Operating System: Microsoft Windows

When communicating with clients, it’s important that all company correspondence have a consistent look and style. You can more easily maintain this style in Microsoft Word by using shared templates as the starting point for all your documents.

To use templates more effectively, we’ll:

  • Find a useful built-in template from Word’s template gallery.
  • Customize the built-in template to suit our needs.
  • Create a new template from an existing document.
  • Share templates with coworkers.

Projecting a professional image is key when communicating with clients. Where possible, all documents from your company should have the same overall appearance, whether the client receives them from you or from a coworker. It isn’t practical for one person to create every piece of communication your company sends; therefore, you can add a touch of professionalism by creating a standard company template that everyone uses for outgoing documents. This template—shown in Figure A—providesa basic formatfor all outgoing correspondence, thereby strengtheningyour company’s image and standardizing communications.

We’ll select one of Word’s built-in templates, and we’ll show you how to edit it so that it provides all the information you need. Then we’ll save it for future use. We’ll also help you create a new templatebased on a frequently used document. Finally, we’ll help you share your templates with your team members.


A: Our personalized template allows all employees to easily share the same message with every new client.

Find and usea built-in template

Creating a new template may feel a bit overwhelming at first, but fortunately Word provides hundreds of ready-made templates for your use. We’ll chose a template and then customize it. In our example, we’ll create a letter employees can send to new clients.

To select a built-in template:

  • Open Word and select File on the main ribbon. Click on New.
  • Type introductory letter in the text box and click Search.
  • Double click on the template “Introductory Letter to New Client.”

Word now displays a new document based on this built-in template, as shown in Figure B. Next, we’ll customize this template.


B: Word’s built-in templates include helpful text that indicates how to complete the document.

Customize a template

Now that we’ve created a new document based on a built-in template, let’s customize the template so it’s ready for all of our team members to use. We’ll fill in the fields that will remain the same for everyone, and we’ll add some formatting to spruce up the template.

To fill in template fields:

  • Hover over Street Address, the second field in the document. Notice that when you do so, the entire field is highlighted.
  • Click to select the entire field. Type 152 Marina Blvd.
  • Select the City, ST ZIP Code field directly below and type San Diego, CA 92101.

Notice that we didn’t edit the [Your Name] and [Date] fields, because these fields will change for each user.

Add more details

Now you can add more formatting to create a more custom look for the template. We’ve included several ideas here.

Format your template:

  • Add a header with your company’s name or logo.
  • Change the font to something more eye-catching (but still legible).
  • Add color to the page. In Figure A, we added a light green stripe in the header and footer by placing the insertion point in the header, choosing Home on the main ribbon, clickin[...]
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