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I have a nice custom table design in Word 2010. I wish to allow my colleagues to use this table design as their default table template for Word and Outlook. In my own test, it would magically appear in the "Design" tab and from there it's easy to use the "Set to standard" function to make it default for Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm.

However, when my colleagues copy the table into Word/Outlook, it does not appear in the Design tab, thus they are not able to make it their default table design.

How can I make the table appear in the Design tab? Or is there another easy way to accomplish what I'm trying to do?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

As you said, saving the table design adds it to your Normal.dotm or NormalEmail.dotm template files, and from then on you can use them in all documents based on that template.

The reason your colleagues can't use your table is because their template files don't contain the design you made.

You could share your table design by sending them your *.dotm files. They're stored in
(type this into Run... or the explorer address bar) and your colleagues just need to copy your file to their directory and overwrite (take care if they have their own saved designs!).


Alternatively, they can try attaching this template on a per-document basis - i.e. whenever they create a document they can choose to add your template.

To do this, send them your template files. Then they have to do the following:

  1. Open the Developer tab in Word
  2. Choose Document Template
  3. On the Templates tab click Add
  4. Browse to your template and load it.

This will enable them yo use designs and styles from your template file.

Note: the Developer tab is not shown by default. to show it go to Options > Customize Ribbon and tick it on the right side under the Main Tabs category.

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A short note about this reference %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates - that folder structure is localized, so the word "Templates" may be different in your language. (It's "Skabeloner" in Danish) – Niels Brinch Mar 2 '12 at 11:23
It's a good answer, but it feels a little too invasive to overwrite their template. Is there no way to copy-paste it into their document and just let them pick the table design as their new default? – Niels Brinch Mar 2 '12 at 12:26
You're right, should've suggested another approach from the start. I've added a less invasive solution to my answer, see if that is more to your liking. – Gyumaou Mar 2 '12 at 17:44

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