Tip of the Day Blog
    The Web
« In Online Auctions, Misspelling in Ads Often Spells Cash | Main | »

Word Templates


Word Templates

From the Chicago Tribune:

Q: I self-publish small books of poetry of 25 to 50 pages, but I must go through five different procedures to do a page setup to print each page. I must set the margin, size and orientation of printed page, font type, size of font and set the page for two columns.

For each page consisting of two poems each, I have to go through the same procedures, setting up every time I do a book.

Is there some way to save the settings to use for each new page where I won't have to go through this procedure each time?

--Henry Gildman, Augusta, Ga.

A: I can assure you that Bill Gates and his software engineers didn't fret all that much about the needs of poets as they cobbled together the enormous collection of software code known as Microsoft Office.

But they did incorporate a feature known as templates that will save you from a great deal of future frustration as you create those elegant books of verse, Mr. G.

Microsoft Word uses a special file called to hold all of the core settings that are ready each time the program is opened. These files include the settings you mentioned and many more, and every time Word is run it consults this file to configure itself.

If you wish, you can simply set up a page with those two columns, special font and landscape printer settings, etc., and save it as From then on your version of Word would always come up, waiting for poetry rather than workaday prose.

Another approach is to create a template with the desired settings in place and save it in the same folder as the other templates that come with Word, stuff like memo forms, letterheads and calendars.

Then when you run Word, you can order it to start a new document under the File command and select the poetry template. This will leave Word's normal settings intact for other work, but does require one to take the extra step of opening a template each time.

Don't fret messing up the machine either way because it is always possible to simply delete or rename the current file, which forces Word to restore one with the settings exactly as they were created at the factory.

There is one point to make about setting the font and font size.

In order to create a poetry template that opens with a desired font, you need to add an opening word with that font in the template in order to automate this aspect of the project.

Also, different versions of Word use various ways to find templates, but all of them start when one clicks on File and then New. This takes you to the template display, where you can either open and alter or create a special file called to handle the job.

Have a question for Jim Coates on small-business technology? Send an e-mail to or via snail mail at the Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago IL 60611. Questions can be answered only through this column.


To see more of the Chicago Tribune, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to

? 2004, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. MSFT, 6724,

EmailEmail Article to Friend