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MS Office templates – Tricks of the Trade

“Help! I need to get this Microsoft Office template done, and I have no idea what I’m doing!”

Sound familiar?

Never Fear, Ideaseed is here!

At Ideaseed we create lots of amazing templates, and our clients usually want to give us a big fat smooch to say thank you (we prefer money so that you know.) They’re a time saver, and they kick butt. We promise!

But where do you start?

What we see on a regular basis is frustrated people. They are frustrated with using templates. Often they don’t know how to use them properly, so they avoid them altogether.

Here are a couple of tips that might make templates a more pleasant task for you.

1. You need to know what they’re for

There’s no point creating a template if this is a one-off task. Templates are there to save you time in the long run. The idea is that it’s a model to get you started and that you can reproduce. When it comes to Microsoft Office, templates are usually basic documents with some elements like formatting and some content that is set in place. (That’s unless you come and see us and we can do anything you want! Within reason of course – we still haven’t figured out how to make templates produce wine!)

2. Don’t make big changes

If you are trying to work as fast as possible, then don’t make extra work for yourself. Try and keep the big pieces where they are in the default template, and fiddle with the easy things – margins, font type and size.

3. How to create a new template

There are tons of ways to make a new template – especially from scratch. Most people like to open a blank document and start there, but that’s a very intimidating thought – so many choices!

Most people will then put in placeholders – text, images etc., save it and BAM! Template done. While this is one way of doing it, you need to be sure that the formatting, including the hidden format, is exact. This is because the next time you (or someone else) uses it, issues can happen because of the hidden formatting you didn’t check.

If you do like to create templates this way, make sure you are 100% satisfied then follow these steps:

  • ‘Save As’
  • Name the file,
  • Select the ‘File Type’ drop-down menu,
  • Select the ‘Template option’,
  • and then Save it.

Ta-Dah a new template!

Another option is to start off differently – go through the ‘New Document Creation’ menu.

  • Select ‘File’,
  • Select ‘New’
  • Select ‘Document’ or ‘Template’.

You are likely to find that you will have fewer headaches if you start the template off on the right foot.

4. Apply template first

With the above in mind, it’s a good idea to apply the template BEFORE you start creating the content. This way you will see what the template will do to the content. Don’t you hate it when images shift on you? So, apply the template before adding the content, especially if you have a lot of different pieces – images, graphs and text.

If your content is text heavy and ready to go, you can open a new document, apply the template and then copy the content over to your new template.

5. When was the last time you used a template?

People tend to fall in one of two groups. Either you use them all the time and you are a whiz or you use them rarely and you become frustrated. If you are in the latter group, you might need a little reminder on how to create a new document based on a template
• Open Microsoft Office
• Click on File, then New
• Select the template from the options below the ‘Blank Document’ section
• Click Create or Download

That’s it folks, hope you’ve learned a little something from the above tips. Now if you are looking at the screen and are totally confused and just what someone else to do it, or you need to make a really flash template, then no problem give us a holler and Ideaseed will sort you out.

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