Using Workgroup Templates

One of the best ways to keep your entire workgroup or organization in sync is to use workgroup templates, which are stored centrally on a network server. All your users can share access to these templates at the same time. Better yet, you can centrally update and manage workgroup templates?eliminating the need to provide individual copies of your critical templates to every user.

Here are some of the ways you can use workgroup templates:

  • Centrally store AutoText boilerplates you want everyone to use

  • Provide a library of standardized documents built around the needs of your department or company

  • Update everyone's user interface at the same time

You create a workgroup template the same way you create any other template. You then store it in a folder that each user's computer recognizes as the location for workgroup templates. It usually makes sense to mark workgroup templates as read-only, to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized customizations that affect everyone who uses them. To ensure that unauthorized individuals don't have access to them, consider storing them on a server with limited permissions. If you have the authority to do so yourself, browse to your workgroup template using Windows Explorer; right-click and choose Properties from the shortcut menu; check the Read-Only check box; and choose OK.

Follow these steps to specify a workgroup template location on a specific computer:

  1. Choose Tools, Options.

  2. Choose the File Locations tab (see Figure 11.14).

    Figure 11.14. You can establish or change the Workgroup Templates folder in the File Locations tab of the Options dialog box.


  3. In the File Types scroll box, click Workgroup Templates. (By default, no location is associated with workgroup templates.)

  4. Click Modify to open the Modify Location dialog box.

  5. Browse and select the folder you want to use.

  6. Click OK twice.


The procedure just described sets a workgroup template location for a single workstation. You can, however, specify a workgroup template location when you deploy Office throughout your organization, using tools provided in the Office 2003 Resource Kit. Alternatively, you can give your users a file containing an AutoOpen macro that changes the workgroup template location; instruct the users to open the file to change the location.

After you establish a Workgroup Templates folder, any templates you save there automatically appear in the General tab of the Templates dialog box when users open a new file, just as if they were stored locally.


If the Workgroup Templates folder is temporarily inaccessible, the templates stored there will be absent when a user creates a new file. Users are dependent on your network to create documents based on those templates.

    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