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So, at my company, we have a bunch of shared files on a share folder that everyone can read, edit, and update, etc...

What we primarily have are macro-enabled reports such as:

  • "Report_1_2012.dotm"
  • "Report_2_2012.dotm"

But what happens is, when one user creates the document, they create it in dotm format. Then, when I want to edit it and update it with my content, it automatically opens as a brand new document. So then, if I make changes/additions, and save, it saves it as a new file, essentially leaving 2 files in the shared folder.

Disclaimer: I know dotm files are templates and are supposed to open as a new file when you open it. Additionally, I unfortunately cannot tell the users creating the document "just to create a docx file" instead. This is out of the question.

So, my question is: On Microsoft Word 2011, how can I edit the actual template file (dotm) file itself to make the changes, then save the exisitng dotm file, without it having to open/save a brand new docx file?

Hope this makes sense and any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I've never used Mac, but when working with templates in Windows there's an option to edit the template in the right click menu instead of creating a new document based on it. Maybe there's such an option in Mac too. – Xandy Oct 30 '12 at 3:14
Thanks, this helped me figure it out. On a Mac, you have to open Word, go to "File" -> "Open", then make sure the dropdown say "Open Original." Thanks again. – Dodinas Oct 30 '12 at 5:23

Launch Word 2011 first, then choose File --> Open and navigate to your *.dotm file:

Screenshot of Word 2011's Open dialog

The default will be to open the template itself, rather than to create a copy, though there's a drop-down menu on the open dialog, should you decide (I wouldn't) to switch it.

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