How to use Workgroup Templates Across Your Network

While sacrificing every now and then to office gods might make your networked life a little easier, form is not a place of worship. Instead, a template is a special type of document file that contains formatting information, standard text, and other custom settings that you can use as the basis for new documents. Three Office programs – Word, Excel, and PowerPoint – enable you to select a template when you create a new document. When you create a new document in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint by choosing File → New, you will see a dialog allowing you to choose a template for the new document. Office comes with a set of templates for the most popular types of documents. These templates are grouped under the various tabs that appear at the top of the New dialog box. In addition to the templates that come with Office, you can create your own in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Creating your own templates is especially useful if you want to create a consistent look for documents prepared by network users. For example, you can create a letter form that includes your company’s letterhead or a presentation form that includes your company logo. Office enables you to store templates in two locations. Where you put them depends on what you want to do with them:
 
User Templates folder on each user’s local drive: If a specific user needs a specialized template, put it here.
Workgroup Templates folder on a shared network drive: If you have templates that you want to make available to all network users on the network server, put them here. This arrangement still allows each user to create forms that are not available to other network users.
 
When you use the User Templates folder and the Workgroup Templates folder, Office collects templates from both folders and lists them in alphabetical order in the New dialog box. For example, the User Templates folder might contain templates named Blank Document and Web Page, and the Workgroup Templates folder might contain a template named Corporate Letterhead. In this case, three templates appear in the New dialog, in the following order: a blank document, a company letterhead, and a web page. To set the location of the User Templates and Workgroup Templates folders, follow these steps in Microsoft Word:
 
1. Click the Office button and then click Word Options. The Word Options dialog box opens.
2. Click the Advanced tab. The Advanced options appear.
3. Scroll down to the General section and then click the File Locations button. The File Locations dialog box appears.
file locations


4. Double-click the Workgroup Templates item. This step opens a dialog box that lets you browse to the location of your template files.

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5. Browse to the template files and then click OK. You return to the File Locations dialog box.
6. Click OK to dismiss the File Locations dialog box. You return to the Word Options dialog box.
7. Click OK again. The Word Options dialog box is dismissed.
 
Although user template settings and workgroup templates affect Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you can change these settings only from Word. The Options dialog boxes in Excel and PowerPoint do not display options for user templates or workgroup templates.
 
When you install Office, the standard templates that come with Office are copied to a folder on your computer’s local drive, and the User Templates option is set to that folder. The Workgroup Templates option is left blank. You can set the Workgroup Templates folder to a shared network folder by clicking Network Templates, clicking the Modify button, and selecting a shared network folder containing your Workgroup Templates.