In previous versions of Office, it was possible to select a template from the gallery, so they were always handy.
In Office 2007, it seems that the only way I can find to USE a document template I've created (.dot or .dotx), is to simply double-click on the file.

However, I'd like to know if there's a way to do this from within Word. I'd like something like the old option for New >> From Template >> select template, or something like that.
Does anyone know about this?

This is frustrating as hell, and the Office 2007 Online Help seems to be useless! It only tells me how to create templates and how to find them online, and how to create all sorts of building blocks, but not how to simple use a template I may have.


Simply click the Office button in the upper-right corner and select "New". A dialog appears to choose a template for the new document. Clicking on "My templates" opens the exact same dialog from previous Office versions.

Note that you don't get that dialog by hitting Ctrl+N. You have to access it through the Office button.

  • This is what I was used to with Word 2003. However, in Word 2007 this option isn't there: jbarel.com/files/new-menu-options.png – Jono Nov 23 '09 at 11:39
  • It is in the version I have. After clicking the New button, another dialog is shown where you can select template on the left side of the dialog. Clicking My templates opens another dialog where you can select one of your custom templates. – T. Kaltnekar Nov 23 '09 at 12:04
  • Oh, yeah... you're right... that shift thing does nothing. – Jono Nov 23 '09 at 18:51
  • I feel like a complete idiot :) – Jono Nov 23 '09 at 18:52

You need your templates to be in the right place in the first place to use the file > new method. This can be your personal templates folder stored in your profile, or a shared workgroup location.

Your local templates location depends on the version of windows you are running, so if you tell us that I can tell you where to look locally. You can change it but I would recommend leaving it alone. On Windows Vista / 7 it should be at:


To change the workgroup location go to Office button > Word Options > Advanced > (scroll down) > File locations button > provide a path in the workgroup templates setting in the dialogue box. (this is where you would change the local one if you want to, but seriously, don't do that)

Note: this can also be set by group policy for everyone to point to the same place, this makes sharing templates with colleagues really easy

Note2: you can also set a policy to take you straight to this "Office 2003" style file > new dialogue without all the other gallery stuff, if you prefer.

Note3: just in case you did not already know, sub-folders of your local and your workgroup folders are presented as tabs, so you can organise you templates by department, for example. Subfolders of subfolders appear as a tab, exactly as if they were direct 'child' folders of templates folder. If you have a folder of the same name on local and workgroup templates, the contents are shown for both on the same tab. If a matching filename in a matching folder clashes, the local one is shown and the workgroup one is not available.

  • That helped me direct Word to where my templates were located, but it didn't help me to get Word 2007 to display the template selection gallery in the first place. I eventually found it by doing <kbd>shift</kbd>+New on the Office menu. – Jono Nov 23 '09 at 11:43
  • Not sure about our terminology, but if you want it to go straight to a selection dialogue based on your templates without clicking "my templates" in the left navigation of the File>New gallery, the easiest way to do this would be using Group Policy. Under User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Office 2007 system/Miscellaneous set "Use Office 2003 New Document dialog box" to Enabled. Hope this is what you are looking for. – AdamV Nov 24 '09 at 21:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.