HELP- Word document template?

Subject: HELP- Word document template?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 10:23:51 -0500


Subba Rao is trying to use a Word document template to create a document:
<<When I save the document from the template, it overwrites the template.
This is what I am doing in MS Word97,
1. Design the document template (Add company logo, "To:" and "From:" fields
and some blank lines to add the text)
2. Save as document template (tempname.dot)
3. Open tempname.dot
4. Create my document
5. Save document as "Customer1.doc"
Now I have lost the template.>>

I'm not exactly sure what's happening, since this procedure should work.
I've basically done much the same thing in the past. Is it possible that
your template isn't actually being lost, but rather has been moved somewhere
other than where you expect? (Word97 only looks in the C/Program
Files/Microsoft Office/Templates directory, so you should generally store
new templates there... and make backup copies somewhere safe, just in case.
In fact, this is a good opportunity to remind you to always backup your
Normal.dot template in case "Windows happens". <g>)

Something is obviously going wrong around step 5. I've occasionally seen
Word 97 refuse to change the "document type" from Word Template to Word
Document in the "Save As" dialog box, and it can take some mental gymnastics
to force Word to do what you want. (Sometimes all you can do is select all
the document contents and paste them into a new document.) If you are saving
the Customer file in the same directory as the template, and select the
template in the list of files displayed in this dialog box, the name you
typed is replaced by the name of the template; that's surprisingly easy to
do if, like me, you use the keyboard to move around the dialog box. I
imagine Microsoft somehow thought this was a feature, and I have used it
occasionally to my benefit, but on the whole, it causes so many problems
that I consider it to be a bug.

Here's another possibility: When you created your template, you probably
defined a batch of custom styles (or customized the existing styles). With
your template open, open the Format menu and select Styles. Select the
Normal style (other styles are commonly set by default to be based on Normal
for some reason known only to Microsoft) and click the Modify button. In the
Modify Style dialog box, make sure the "Add to template" and "Automatically
update" checkboxes are deselected. Various combinations of these two
checkboxes can cause the changes you make to a file to be made to the
template it's based on as well.

Another thing to try: Instead of _opening_ the template, create a new file
_based on_ the template. To do so, open the File menu and select New. You'll
see a dialogue box that presents all the templates currently installed on
your system. (That is, templates in the directory I mentioned above.) Select
the desired template. A new document will open, with its window titled
"Document 1" or something similar. You should now be able to save it without
affecting your template.

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a
personality, and an obnoxious one at that."--Kim Roper

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