Create a Word Template: The Basics
There is a detailed process we follow when we create a Word template. Building a proper Microsoft Word template isn’t just a matter of choosing (or creating) a Theme file and plonking in a logo somewhere. It’s a project, and it should be treated as such. That means planning, research, discussion, and did we mention planning?
At Documents With Precision, templates are all in a day’s work for us. Here’s a peek at the basics of our process:
Before we start any work to create a Word template, we learn all about it. That means we ask our client questions – such as what the template will be used for, and by who. Is it for internal use or will it be sent to customers? What kind of template – a contract, a form?
It also helps if we can get a look at the content, or at least some sample content.
Another question we ask our clients is whether they have existing branding. Brand guidelines are super helpful in the template creation process, but if you don’t have them it’s not the end of the world. In these instances we will refer to your website, logo and/or any other available materials to help build template elements such as a colour palette.
It’s also helpful to know a little about your company positioning. We often ask our clients to describe their brand so we can get a feel for how they want their template to look, such as whether it’s a “corporate” or “down to earth” feel they’re after.
Word contains built-in Themes (on the ribbon’s Design tab) that you can apply to documents and templates to change fonts, colour schemes, and graphical effects.
For our clients, we create custom theme files containing their brand colours and fonts. This ensures any content entered into the template will automatically take on the client’s branding, no manual formatting needed.
Themes are incredibly powerful because they can be used across all MS Office applications, which helps with brand consistency.
Word Styles (on the Home tab) are sets of predefined font sizes, styles, and colours. There are three main Styles – Heading, Body, and Table. Using Styles ensures all text in your Word template is consistently formatted, while global changes can be made with just a click or two.
As with Theme files, we create custom Styles for our Word templates. Check out our post on Styles for a more detailed rundown!
Need help with your Word template?
While it might seem like a lot of detail, we’re actually proud of being this thorough. It’s part of our precision process. Templates don’t just have to look awesome (though ours do, if we say so ourselves), they have to be functional and useful for your specific purpose. Used correctly, a properly defined and well-built template ensures brand consistency across all your business documents.
Want to know more about how we create a Word template? Talk to us today – we can work with you or your brand designers to implement your Microsoft Office templates and make sure your documents surpass themselves in brand consistency and quality.