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This is potentially a very simple question, but I'm trying to create a letterhead template for work that will be used on dozens of different mail merge letters.

The letterhead is saved as a Word template. I haven't dealt with templates much in the past, but I thought the whole entire purpose of templates was to have a master document that changes could be made to in order for them to cascade down to all documents that have "inherited" from it. Unfortunately, this doesn't appear to be the case by default, which in my opinion, renders templates all but useless.

Is there any way I can have the changes to the letterhead template cascade down to other letters? It's a real pain to change every single letter when the letterhead has to be changes (usually due to envelope fitting requirements).

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Just wondering - is it just styles or are there elements (graphics, textboxes, etc) in the template too? – caliban Sep 4 '09 at 14:54
@scoopdreams - The letterhead consists of our logo image, our address/phone/whatever information, and a mail merge block that holds the recipient's address for use with windowed envelopes. The letters always contain confidential information so it's pretty common that we adjust spacing on the letterhead to make sure the paper cannot slide around in envelopes to reveal information – DWilliams Sep 4 '09 at 16:52
I think templates are just a starting point for new documents and changing them doesn't affect existing documents. You might want to see if you can get linked documents or a master document to do what you want. – Dennis Williamson Sep 5 '09 at 11:40
@Dennis: You're right that changes to a template's content don't affect documents based on that template. But changes to styles, toolbars, macros stored in the template can. – e100 Sep 18 '09 at 19:22
up vote 1 down vote accepted

As indicated by Dennis Williamson in a comment, linked documents were what I was after.

After creating the letterhead, I went into my individual letters and did the following:

  1. Go to the "insert" tab.
  2. Expand "Object"
  3. Click "Text from file"
  4. Select the letterhead
  5. Expand the "insert" button by clicking its arrow
  6. Select "Insert as link"

Doing that, a field is inserted in the document that simply links to the letterhead. Whenever the letterhead is changed, updates cascade down to sub-documents.

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