How do you create a ‘Company’ formatted document/template?



MS Word 2003 (Office 2003)

Help I need to create a company type ‘template’ (document) that will enable
members of staff in the R&D dept. to produce different Technical
specifications reports & guides, all containing the same header & footer
format (i.e. company logo & field codes & Priv. & Confid. warning), using MS
Word 2003.
I don't mind what the user enters into the body of the A4 page i.e. text,
sections, graphics, I just want to enforce, or prevent changes to the headers
and footers & the first, odd and even pages used and paragraph styles –
basically making the finished drafts look the same as far as formatting (not
The company template to be, (or doc) will be placed in a central network
place and then staff will copy it locally, add ‘body’ page content, then
rename and save the file. Then submit their finished to a
share-point site for reviewing & sharing of information to multiple users.
What’s currently been used and I’ve formatted the headers & footers,
corrected the page type layout is a .doc file, using the normal .dot
template. The resulting documents born from this template have a First page
only footer which is usually used a kind of cover/front page, then Odd page
with header & footer, then Even page, with Even header & footers then
continues with alternating odd/even pages as you’d expect – works ok.
What’s the best approach or practice to achieve a ‘locked down’
document/template that prevents styles, headers & footers changing?
Is it using a Custom .dot and checking the automatically update document
styles, and producing .docs using this template, after distributing the
template to all staff or is there another process, such as Protecting areas
in a word doc (H & F’s) or utilising the Forms toolbar functions..
Help I’ve read soo much I’m soo confused!
This is one of those topics, or problem I've never actually got round to a
good solution - and think I would benefit (along with others) knowing the
correct way to use MS Word 2003, and its strengths, however confusing it

Many Thanks



Terry Farrell

Firstly, when you add the template to the server, place it in a folder and
name the folder Company Templates: if necessary, use sub-folders for
different departments or to suit your organisational needs. These sub-folder
names will show up in the users' File, New dialogs (but not when they are

Secondly, everyone's Word File Locations should have the Workgroup Templates
location set to point to the new Company Templates folder. Now When a user
need to create a new document, he/she use File | New and opens a new
document based on that template. DO NOT SIMPLY COPY IT TO THE LOCAL DRIVE
AND USE IT: that is not how word is used.

Explaining how to create the template - which is not difficult - is way
beyond the remit of this newsgroup and would take many pages to cover.
However, there are some really excellent tutorials around that will help
you. If you get stuck and cannot work out something specific, come back here
for some more advice.

See Using Templates at



Thanks all valid points.
I was aware that the Template(.dot) has to be local on a users pc or their
pc Template folder referenced to a central server (i.e. Sharepoint folder and
relevant sub folders) - or have a local copy of the .dot.

Maybe I offered to much info in my question, especially as I'm not fully
aware of the benefits a .dot can offer - I'm still deciding if this is the
way to go... as I've done some temp designs already and they've not provided

I've found the following when I paste (Ctrl+V) say 5 pages of text & tables
from current tech with headers & footers into a new .doc using the
new .dot;

- The Page, Header & footer setup in the .dot is overruled by the text
being pasted in. The following design of First page, Odd and then Even pages
are ignored and you're left at the mercy of whatever is pasted in, which
destroys the doc. (I'm suspecting its related to Sections breaks, as I've
found and deleted them as a fix/work round).

I was assuming the .dot would enforce/control the .dot Header & Footer setup
- why not?

- Also when the content is copied & pasted in the Header & Footer para
styles are corrupted - why? (It's as if the pasted text, brings the format
over with it and updates the .doc on the fly - instead of the .dot enforcing
the original styles, do I need to check the Preserve formatting, to the
relevant styles when building the .dot).

So, the questions are:

How do I prevent the H & F, and First page, odd, and even going amiss, and
the sytles?

Will a TEMPLATE approach to produce .docs for general spec docs be the
suitable process? (Imagine 10 engineers, each making a doc from my .dot, all
at once, I'd be hoping from 1 table to another, teaching them how to use

Or would Tools > Protect Document and then opting for Editing Restricitions
prevent areas like the H & F, from being changed?

What would be the best method to provide a formatted .doc/.dot that people
can add content to, but would not need the page layout changed, reworking of
the Headers & footers, para styles each time they paste in 'carry over'
design specs.


P.S. Gradually building a .dot from scratch using the links provided below
and the "Word Templates, A Guide to Their Creation, by John McGhie Microsoft
Word MVP" though the above is needed yesterday.

Many Thanks



Terry Farrell

If you have constructed the template with different first page H&Fs and
different H&Fs in each section, then they will remain as long long as the
users don't delete the section breaks.

What happens when you copy/paste can be controlled by first adjusting the
settings under Tools | Options to defer to Destination formatting. Also, if
the Paste Smart Tag is enabled, the users have the choice of specifying
which formatting takes precedence.

Why are they bringing across the H&Fs? These should be set up as part of the
template and the users should only bring over the body and not H&Fs. H&Fs
are part of the section break (or final paragraph mark), so you must be
selecting that with the text and headers. Just exclude it in the copy -
which is easy to do. What happens to the formatting is actually irrelevant
as to whether you are starting from a new document created from a template
or a copied document: both behave the same way from that point.

There are many advantages of using the template such as if the template has
CreateDate fields in the H or Fs, then the new document will have the date
that the document created permanently embedded in it.

Really there are just so many things you can do with templates to make life
easy, but without seeing a particular 'end document', it is difficult to
provide exact guidance.


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