How to Edit a Template in MS Word

By Foye Robinson

i Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images

Templates are used to create documents you want to develop quickly. You can use the design of your template and revamp it for your use. Word templates are placed in the template folder for easy access. If you’re working with a template that includes a locked form, you will need to unlock the form before you can edit it. Once your updates are complete, resave the file or rename it as a different template in MS Word.

Step 1

Go to MS Word and open the template you want to edit by clicking on “File” and “New.” Select “On my computer…” from the “New Document” task pane. The “Templates” tab will open up.

Step 2

Select the “General” tab to edit templates you created on your computer. Otherwise, choose from one of the other tabs instead. Select the template you need. Then choose "Template” under “Create New” and click “OK.” The template will load onto your page.

Step 3

Edit the template by selecting any content that needs to change and typing over it.

Step 4

Update fields within a template by selecting the field ( for example, "Click here and type recipient’s address") on your page. The entire field will appear in gray when it’s selected.

Step 5

Right-click on the field and choose “Edit Field” to open the “Field” dialog box. Place your cursor in the “Display text” textbox and modify it to read the way you want, then click “OK.”

Step 6

Add a date field to your template by selecting “Insert” and “Date and Time.” Choose the date format you want, place a checkmark by “Update Automatically” and click “OK.” The date field will be added to your MS Word template.

Step 7

Edit the format of an existing date field by right-clicking on it. Select a different date format and add a checkmark to “Preserve formatting during updates.” Then click “OK.”

Step 8

Edit a form field in your template by unlocking it first. Select “View,” “Toolbars” and “Customize.” Choose “Forms” in the “Toolbars” tab to open the "Forms" toolbar.

Step 9

Place your cursor in the form field on your page, then click on the “Protect Form” button in the “Forms” toolbar. Double-click on the form field to update it.

Step 10

Save your work by clicking on “File” and “Save As.” Select the file name of the original template in the “Save As” dialog box and double-click it. The edited template will replace the original file.

Step 11

Press “OK” if you receive a warning that the document contains macros, ActiveX controls, XML expansion pack information or web containers. The updated template is now ready.