When you create a new document, you're actually choosing a template on which your document will be based. The default Blank Document template that most people use is based on Word's Normal template, an especially important Word template that you'll learn more about shortly.
Word comes with more than 40 templates for the documents you're most likely to create. These templates can be used to create letters and mail merges, faxes, memos, reports, résumés, Web pages, brochures, manuals, and many other documents.
Most of Word's templates actually contain their own directions on how to use them most effectively. For example, the Report templates explain how to insert your own company name, create consistent bulleted lists, and use AutoFormat to create a table consistent with the one already in the document.
Later in this chapter, in the "Using Word Wizards" section, you'll learn more about the wizards that also appear in the Templates dialog box.
To select a template, choose File, New. The New Document task pane appears (see Figure 11.1).
Next, specify where to look for the template. For example, if you want to use a template that came with Word, or one you've created yourself on your own computer, click On My Computer. Then, click the tab containing the template you want, and double-click the template.
When you use some templates in Word 2003 for the first time, Word may need to install them before running them. If Word displays a dialog box asking permission to do so, click Yes.
If you installed Word across the network, Word looks for templates in the network location you originally installed from. If you installed Word locally, Word prompts you to insert the Office 2003 or Word 2003 CD-ROM.
If you installed Microsoft Office 2003, you can open Word and a document based on a template of your choice, both at the same time. On the taskbar, click Start, New Office Document. Office displays a list of all the templates associated with Word (as well as other Office programs you may have installed). Double-click any Word template. (They're recognizable by their Word icons.)