Microsoft Word Templates

What are Microsoft Word Templates?

An MS Word template is a word processing document that has been setup, configured and protected to allow entry of information in predetermined locations or fields within the document.

Creating documents from templates ensures that layout, style and data entry is consistent. This helps individuals to work more efficiently and businesses to maintain company branding and to control data capture and document quality.

Once the template fields have been completed, the document can be saved as a normal Word document. If required, the saved document can be amended without changing the original Word template file.

Word Documents vs Word Document Templates

A normal Microsoft Office Word document has the (.doc) file extension. It can easily be amended and is the default file type when saving documents created in Microsoft Word. Changes made and saved to the Word Document file (.doc) will be there the next time the document is opened.

Word document template files have the (.dot) file extension. They can only be amended if protection is removed allowing changes to be made.

Each time a document template file is opened for use by double clicking on the Microsoft Office Word template icon, the predetermined locations (fields) for data entry will be blank.

When the Microsoft Word templates fields are completed the document is saved as a normal Word document with the .doc file extension, unless otherwise defined by the user. The saved document can be amended without making changes to the original document template.

Using Microsoft Word Templates saves you time as you do not have to delete any text that has previously been entered. It also ensures that the document retains it's original purpose, presentation and configuration.

Downloading Microsoft Office Word Templates from

All Word templates available to download have been compressed and saved as ZIP files.

When you click on a text link or picture that allows you to download a Word template ensure that you save the ZIP file to your PC or local network.

If you do open the template directly from, the template will open ready to be completed. If you save this document it will save as a normal Word document with the .doc file extension.

Read my advice on saving your templates.

When you have downloaded and saved the ZIP file to your PC or local network, I recommend that you extract/unzip the folder that contains the individual template and it's instructions (if provided). This will ensure that all related files are kept together.

If you do extract files individually into another folder within your directory system ensure that you know where to find them.

Once extracted from the ZIP file the document template file (.dot) should have the Microsoft Office Word Document template icon.

Opening a Microsoft Word Templates

To open a template for use double click on the Microsoft Office Word template icon. It will open as a new document, usually with the default name of Document1. All data fields should be blank.

The default document name may be different e.g. Document2, Document3, Document4 etc. This will depend on whether you have other documents open that have been created from a Microsoft Word document template.

Before opening Microsoft Word templates or any other files downloaded from the Internet, make sure they are safe to open.


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