Understanding Global Templates

Global templates are templates whose styles and other settings are available to all open documents. As already mentioned, Normal is a global template. However, you can add more global templates, either for your current session or permanently. You might load a global template in the following situations:

  • When you want to make sure that a set of macros, styles, or AutoText entries is available for use in all documents you plan to create during one session?but not necessarily for all sessions. For instance, if you are editing several sales proposals today, you may want to load a sales proposal template as a global template today so that you can have access to its special toolbars, shortcuts, AutoText entries, and macros. However, because you edit sales proposals only one day a week, you can avoid cluttering your editing environment with irrelevant tools and shortcuts, by not loading this global template on other days.

  • When you want to make sure that third-party macros are available to all your documents, without copying them into your Normal.dot template. (In fact, many third-party templates do not permit you to copy individual macros out of them.)

Global templates are also helpful when you want to distribute a set of customizations to others. You can build them into a template and instruct your colleagues how to load the template as a global template when they need these customizations.

Loading a Global Template for the Current Session

You can add a global template anytime during the course of a session. Global templates are controlled in the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box, which is found by clicking Tools, Templates and Add-Ins (see Figure 11.5).

Figure 11.5. The Templates and Add-Ins dialog box enables you to add one or more global templates for use in all documents.


To add a global template, click Add from this dialog box. Then, in the Add Template dialog box (see Figure 11.6), Word displays a list of the templates currently available in the Templates folder. Browse the list to select the template you want, and click OK.

Figure 11.6. The Add Template dialog box works much as the Open dialog box does; browse for the template you want and click OK.



Templates can be stored anywhere on your hard disk or on a networked hard drive. However, only templates stored in the Office 2003 Templates folder, one of its subfolders, or a networked folder designated as the Workgroup Templates folder appear in the Templates dialog box. (Workgroup templates are covered later in this chapter.)

When you return to the Templates and Add-Ins dialog box, the additional template appears in the Global Templates and Add-Ins scroll box with a check mark next to it. It remains loaded until you uncheck the box or exit Word. The next time you start Word, the template will be listed in the Global Templates and Add-Ins scroll box, but its check box won't be checked. You'll need to recheck it to reenable it as a global template.


If you suddenly lose access to a template that was available before, see "What to Do If You Lose Access to a Template," in "Troubleshooting" at the end of this chapter.

Loading a Global Template Permanently

You may want to load the same global template automatically whenever you run Word without having to fiddle around with check boxes each time. The easiest way is to copy the template into Word's Startup folder. In a typical Windows 2000 or Windows XP installation of Microsoft Office 2003, this folder is \Windows\user profile\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup.

After you copy the template, it loads automatically when you run Word, and stays loaded unless you uncheck its check box in Templates and Add-Ins.


Why wouldn't you load a global template permanently? Conceivably, it might contain confidential information that you wouldn't want others to access routinely. More likely, you're simply trying to save memory and make sure that Word starts as quickly as possible by not loading any more templates than necessary?or you need the template only on rare occasions.

    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