there is no obvious way to apply a different template to an existing document in Word. One workaround is to "select all" in your document, copy, then start a new document with the template you wish to use and paste into it. However, there is another way, as recommended by Suzanne S. Barnhill, Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Word document templates
Run Word. Click “File” then “Open.” Navigate to your Word file icon and click it. Click the “Open” button.
Click “Tools then Templates and Add-Ins… .” Click the “Templates” tab when the “Templates and Add-ins” [sic] dialogue box appears, if it is not already selected.
Look for the “Document template” text box which will have “Normal” (or your current template name) in it, indicating the template you are currently using. Click the “Attach…” button to the right of it. Note that “Files of type…” is set to “Document Templates.” Navigate to your chosen document template icon and click it. Note its location and name are now written to the “Document template” text box, replacing “Normal.” Tick the “Automatically update document styles” box. Click “OK.” Note the styles in your document now change to reflect the styles in the newly chosen document template.
Tips and warnings
- If you follow this procedure but see no change in your document, it could be because the styles in the newly chosen document template are the same as the ones in your Normal document template. Alternatively, it might be that you created your document using Clear Formatting.
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