Understanding the Relationship Between Styles and Templates

In Chapter 10, you learned how to create a set of consistent styles and store them in a template. The styles available to your current document depend on the templates open at the time. These templates are as listed here:

  • The Normal template.

  • Whatever template you based the document on, if you based it on a template other than Normal.

  • Any other global templates that are currently loaded. By default, no global templates other than Normal are loaded.

What if several templates are open, and each defines the same style differently? This happens often, even if you stay with Word's built-in styles. For example, Heading 1 is 14-point Arial Bold in the Normal template, but 10-point Arial Bold in the Contemporary Letter template. If you open a document based on the Contemporary Letter template, Word uses its styles, not those in any other template, global or otherwise.

If you change the styles in your document without storing those changes in a template, the document's revised styles override all the templates available to that document.


Not surprisingly, templates can also store combinations of formatting that appear in the Styles and Formatting task pane. In general, however, if you are building complex documents that you want to keep consistent, it makes more sense to rely on styles than on these formatting combinations.

    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