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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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.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.