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Microsoft Word Templates -- Quick Guide

Microsoft word templates

Microsoft Word provides templates that are designed by a professional and can be adapted for various documents. Some templates require a lot of work to complete while others are ready for use and all you need to do is add a name, address, and phone number. For instance, business card templates.

However, for a business that wishes to brand its documents and create templates that meet their needs, it is better to customize the templates in MS Word. This guide will teach you how to create customized templates instead of depending on generic Microsoft Word templates.

What You Should Know About Microsoft Office Templates and How to Access, Modify, and Create?

MS Office Templates provide specific design, layout, and style for a particular kind of document. You can choose to provide templates that can still be altered or you can lock them so that content added maintains the layout already set.

When you create a template, you can use it repeatedly to generate several documents. The template file will maintain the format in which you save it. So if you save it as a Docx file, it will maintain that format unless you change it.

Accessing Stock Templates in MS Word

You will need to have an internet connection to access stock templates since most of the templates are stored online. The process is easy once you are connected online.

Step one: Open Word and choose New

template options in Microsoft word

Step Two: From the menu that appears, choose the template category you want and wait as Word searches thousands of categories. For this case let's choose a business.

Step Three: You will see search results displayed on-screen as well as an extensive list of other categories.

business templates in Microsoft word

Step Four: Scroll and choose the template that best suits your purpose.  

Sometimes you may not find the design or layout that you would like and that is when it becomes essential to customize your template.

Customizing and Creating MS Word Templates

Microsoft Word allows users to create both simple and complex templates to suit their needs from the list of free Office templates. It can be a simple business card, resume, or a multiple page proposal.

The process begins with creating a document. Next, add formatting and images to the document. For Office templates, you may need to make them interactive so that other users can have access to them and add content as they see fit. For interactive templates, you will need to go to controls on the developer tab and input custom fields.

blank document in Microsoft word

To do this, follow these steps:

Step One: Choose a blank document

Step Two: Create columns according to the design you have in mind with defined measurements. These measurements determine how much space will be taken up by images, text, and graphics.

column settings in Microsoft word

Step Three: Include a place holder title and choose the font for the title as well as color.

document with a title in Microsoft word

Step Four: Like with the title, do the same for the subtitle but select a separate color from the title.

Step Five: Add a place holder image in the image box.

developer settings in Microsoft word

Step Six: Add any other fields you may find necessary for your template.

Step Seven: If you are happy with what you see, save the template as a regular document for easy sharing and printing, but also save it as a template so it can be used in the future.

Your saved template will be saved as a Custom Office Template, the next time you click “New” you will see a category for Personal templates.

If you’re looking to create hundreds and thousands of documents that look professional by drawing data from multiple data sources, then it is best to choose Windward. It comes as an add-in in your favorite MS Word, so you can start customizing templates and populate it with data to create well-formatted documents in no time.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Genesis Abel

Written by:_
Genesis Abel
Windward © 2020 All Rights Reserved.

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