Attaching Templates to Documents and Email Messages

In Word 2003, templates have a role to play in virtually any kind of document, from conventional business documents such as reports, to email messages, to Web pages. In the following sections, you'll learn how to attach templates to existing documents, and to email messages.

Attaching a New Template to an Existing Document

Every document has one template attached to it (except for documents created by wizards, which have a wizard attached to them, as you'll see later). Typically, the attached template is the one you used to create the document?whether you used the Normal template, another built-in Word template, or one of your own. However, in some instances, you may want to change the template associated with a document.

For instance, imagine that your company, Acme Chocolate, has just been purchased by Intergalactic Candies. Intergalactic has different corporate design standards than Acme. Both companies use Word, and both companies have Word templates codifying basic document formats such as headings and body text. If so, you may be able to redesign your documents to the Intergalactic standard simply by attaching the Intergalactic template to them.


Of course, things aren't usually quite this simple. The style names you used at Acme may not be the same as those used by Intergalactic, or Intergalactic might not have a template containing all its styles. However, you can still create a new template that combines Intergalactic's formatting rules with the style names you've already been using and achieve the same result.

To attach a different template to your document, choose Tools, Templates and Add-Ins, and click Attach. The Attach Template dialog box opens. Browse to the template you want to attach and click Open. If you want to update your existing document's styles to reflect those in the new template, check the Automatically Update Document Styles check box.


To automate the process of migrating from one document design to another, record a macro that changes the attached template to the new template and automatically updates the document's styles. Name the macro AutoOpen and store it in the Normal template. It will run every time you open a new document, changing the formatting of the document to reflect your corporate redesign.


Sometimes you want to attach a new template but not update the styles. For example, you might be perfectly happy with your document's formatting, but you want access to a set of AutoText entries associated with a different template. In this case, attach the template, but do not check the Automatically Update Document Styles check box.

Attaching a Template to All Email Messages

Many Word users prefer to edit their email in Microsoft Word, rather than in Outlook or Outlook Express. Moreover, email users are increasingly using HTML-based formatting to make their email communications more powerful and effective. Word 2003 enables you to specify a document template that will be used in all new email messages you create within Word. To specify a default template for emails, follow these steps:

  1. Click File, New, and choose Blank Email Message from the New Document task pane. The Word window changes to an email message window.

  2. Click in the text area of the message (not the To, Cc, or Subject lines).

  3. Choose Tools, Templates and Add-Ins.

  4. Click Attach. The Attach Templates dialog box opens.

  5. Browse to the template you want to attach to your email messages, select it, and click Open.

  6. If you want this template to be applied to any future emails, check the Attach to All New Email Messages check box.

  7. Choose OK.

For more information about working with Word as an email editor, see Chapter 30, "Using Word as an Email Editor."

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word