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How to apply a Word Template to an existing Word document?

In general, it's easy to apply a Word template to a new Word document. However, work goes tough to change template for an existing Word document. Any idea to apply or change a Word template to an existing Word Document? Below method will ease your work.

Apply a Word Template to an existing Word document

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arrow blue right bubbleApply a Word Template to an existing Word document

Please follow below steps to apply or change the Word template to your existing Word document.

1. Open the Word document you will apply template to, and click File > Options to open the Word Options dialog box.

2. In the Word Options dialog box, please (1) click Add-ins in the left bar, (2) select Templates from the Manage drop down list, and (3) click the Go button. See screenshot:

3. In the new opening Templates and Add-ins dialog box, please check the Automatically update document styles option, and click the Attach button. See screenshot:

4. In the Attach Template dialog box, please (1) open the folder containing the personal template you will apply, (2) select the specified personal template, and (3) click the Open button. See screenshot:

Note: If you have saved the specified personal Word template in the default custom office template folder, you can open this folder quickly with folder path %username%\Documents\Custom Office Templates.

5. Click the OK button when it returns to the Templates and Add-ins dialog box.
And now the specified Word template is applied to the existing Word document immediately. See screenshot:

Note: To remove the personal template from existing Word document, please repeat above steps and apply the default Word Template to the document as below screenshot shown:
FYI, you can open the folder containing the default Word Template with folder path C:\Users\your_user_name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates.




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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Kirt · 3 months ago
    Thank you, it works!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Juan S · 6 months ago
    Thanks, very useful!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    LuxThill · 9 months ago
    Alt-T + I opens the Template dialog where normal is the default template. You can change this to an other existing template by clicking the Attach... Button an choose the new template.
    !!! To apply the styles, check the "Automatically update document styles"
    You're done.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Ryan · 1 years ago
    I have a simple solution to at least have the base lines of your attachments. First, go to Insert ribbon > click on object (below date and time) > select text from file (choose the document to attach). That should be it :) Hope it helps
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Syed · 7 months ago
      very easy to follow, thankyou
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      kellytte · 10 months ago
      Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for your comment and advice. The new method seems not work in my Office work environments. Could you show more detailed steps and description about your method? Thanks in advace!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dee · 1 years ago
    When you "attach" the template and select "automatically update document styles", the template styles update to the styles list, but for existing styles in the document, you have to apply the new template styles. In other words, you have to select the text and click the style from the styles list for it to take effect. Usually after I attach the template, I turn around and deselect the "automatically update document styles" so as not to corrupt styles if I make a mistake. Also, if I make a mistake, such as moving the indentation of a style I have defined as "table text" (which changes all table text in the document), I go back into the Developer tab, use the Organizer button, open the template and re-import the table text style to fix it in the document.
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    Steve F · 1 years ago
    Does not work for me. No matter how I try and apply the template the styles in the document remain the same. I am obviously missing a step somewhere. I am creating a template with the appropriate styles and then applying it to a document which has headings and bullet points etc but none of this works. Others that I know are also baffled by this and have given up.
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    Frank · 1 years ago
    I have seen these same instructions elsewhere but the styles do not change. it does not wok for me
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    sandra · 1 years ago
    The above steps didn't work for me. I did everything as it was written and the document template doesn't apply to the old template
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      kelly001 · 1 years ago
      Hi Sandra,
      This method won’t change original document content, but change the document formatting and styles, such as headings, line-spaces, etc.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Brian Gillock · 1 years ago
    The template I created has a title page and includes headers and footers, why do these things not come in with the formatting? Thank you!
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      kelly001 · 1 years ago
      Hi Brian,
      The method introduced in this article is to apply a Word template to an existing document. Therefore, original content, header and footer of the Word template will be lost.

      If you want to apply a Word template to a new document with remaining all content, header and footer in the template, please click File > New > Personal, and then click the specified template.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Pankaj N · 1 years ago
        "The method introduced in this article is to apply a Word template to an existing document. Therefore, original content, header and footer of the Word template will be lost...... " but this is not happening. No changes takes places in the existing document.
        • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
          kelly001 · 1 years ago
          For example, you format the heading 1 as red font in original document, format the heading 1 as blue in the template. When you apply the template to your document, all heading 1 will be changed to blue automatically.