What Is a Template in Microsoft Word?

By Eric Fenton

Templates in Microsoft Word are pre-formatted document frameworks designed to make creating a specific document easier. When Word starts up, it automatically opens on a blank sheet, but you can choose from hundreds of internal templates, download more from the Internet or create your own. Templates help you create a range of documents, from yard-sale flyers to academic papers to greeting cards: All you have to do is exchange their generic text with your own. By using templates, you can concentrate on the content instead of the formatting.

Labels and Envelopes

Creating labels using Word is easy and enjoyable, because you can buy pre-cut printing labels that are compatible with Word. It's just a matter of selecting the type of label template you want in the Word print menu. You can also create labels for envelopes or use an envelope template to print directly onto your envelopes -- no more measuring the envelope and setting your own tabs and margins.

Magazine And Newspaper Articles

Many news articles are formatted in two columns. The magazine and newspaper templates save you from having to set page breaks and columns manually. You can also create your own newsletter from these templates. Word newspaper templates automatically have dummy text in the template that you can erase or overwrite. You can also select templates for brochures and programs in a range of layout designs.

Resumes and Cover Letters

For that all-important first impression, select just the right template to fill with your resume text. Cover letter templates are useful tools when you're submitting multiple applications, allowing you to tweak only the items that must be changed, such as the position company, recipient and date.

Business and Legal

Microsoft Word also offers templates for legal documents. With these templates, you can draft memos and invoices, official company letterheads and even preliminary divorce papers. You'll still need a lawyer to complete the latter, however. You can use these templates for personal contracts, as well. Just have both parties sign and notarize the document to make it binding.

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