Many of the blogs I create are inspired by questions that come up in training sessions. This one is a little different. I had a request from a client to modify a template that had already been produced for them. It had all the design input they needed but didn’t use Microsoft Words functionality so it could be updated, on brand, quickly and easily. That’s where I came in, or in this case my Associate trainer Andy. Here are his words on how he delivered the clients requirements. If you have any similar documents you may need creating then do get in touch.
Getting started with the Template
The Importance of setting objectives for the Template and agreeing them with end users.
When creating Microsoft Word Templates for a client the best way is to prepare in advance a list of what you need the template to do, together with agreed formatting to be used as part of the template. All users should agree with this. Having tasks, formatting etc agreed BEFORE any template design work is undertaken will save time further down the line with amendments, changes and help shape end user expectations with the completed Template. Once these items are agreed, together with timeframes then work on the actual Template can begin.
Agreeing the parameters of the template with end users before work begins will not only save development time but also help end users understand the importance of such goals for the project and that constant changes and updates will only add to delays in implementation.
How to create the Template
Start with a new Word Document. It is a good idea to save the blank document as a word template early on, so that any changes and edits to styles can be saved to your template, rather than effect any default settings with Microsoft Word.
- Go to the File tab
- Click Save as and from the drop down menu select word template *.dotm
You can now start creating any styles to be used and they will be stored in the template you have just created. Styles are not covered in this blog post.
Cover Pages are used to include not only Main Document Titles and sub titles, but also Graphics and Logos, and help provide a uniform layout for specific pages in a multiple page document such as a report. To create a Cover Page:
- Create a mock up of the Cover Page required
- Highlight the information on the page to be included in the Cover Page
- Select the Insert Tab and choose Cover Page
- Choose Save Selection to Cover Page Gallery
5. If the template file is open then the save in option will allow the cover page produced to be saved there
TIP: Create your own Company Category when saving the Cover Page. This will help users find the Company Cover Page much faster than having your Company Cover Page saved within the default list of Cover Pages provided with Microsoft Word.
Tables can also be included in Templates. Create an example table complete with draft Headings and Dummy data than can be overtyped by the users when using the template to create a new table. Although the data will be different the format and structure will still be retained.
- Create the draft table and highlight the table information
- From the Insert Tab select Table and Quick Tables
- Then Save selection to Quick Tables Gallery
TIP: Create your own Table Category when saving the Table. This will help users find the Company Tables much faster than having your Tables saved within the default list of Tables provided with Microsoft Word.
Completing the Template
When all the components of the Template are in place and have been completed, such as Cover Pages, Styles and Tables the Template can be saved.
Remember to strip out ALL redundant information from the Template to leave the template in the condition that you wish the users to see when using the template before resaving the completed Template.
TIP: It may be useful to provide user notes to accompany the Template outlining Fonts, Styles, Tables and Cover Sheets used and where to access them when using the Word Template, especially if Company Categories have been created.