From the Kenosha News on 8-13-06

Microsoft Templates provide a wealth of sample documents

When using Microsoft Word, I was wondering if they have some ready-made templates or a wizard to help me put together a simple greeting card. What I found was much more. The Microsoft Office web site contains hundreds (maybe even thousands) of document templates from daily nutrition logs to sample legal documents to recipe and greeting cards. They include documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more for both professional and personal use.

There are two ways to get to the templates; both require internet access. The first is to point your browser to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates. The second is to call up the templates from inside a Microsoft application such as MS Word. In Word or Excel XP, click on the File menu and click New. A new blank document should open, and on the right side of the screen you will see a panel that shows a number of options, including the most recent documents you’ve worked with. Near the bottom of this panel, you’ll see a section titled “New from Template.” In that section, click on “Templates from Microsoft.com.” This will launch the same web site.

Once on the template web site, the upper center part of the screen shows you their newest and featured templates. Not surprisingly, the current emphasis is on documents for back-to-school. Below that are categories of templates. Notice how many have “Other…” as a link. Clicking on the Other link will show you all of the sub-categories. For example, if you click on “Other…” under “Home and Community,” you will find a category of “Home and Auto Care.” In this section you will find useful items like an automobile bill of sale and a change of address notice. Under the title of the specific template, it tells you what version of what software program is needed to open it. You must have that software in order to use the template.

Once you find a template you want on the list, click on its name or the picture of the page at the left. That will bring you to a screen with a button labeled “Download Now.” When you click that button, the document will open in the application. From there, you may save the document in the desired location, such as My Documents. You can fill in the missing information or modify the document as you see fit and then re-save.

In addition to many, many templates, the Microsoft Office site at http://office.microsoft.com/ has many other resources available. Click on the Clip Art and Media link (just below the Templates link) in the left column to access many categories of clip art, including web page backgrounds and animations. Training resources and trial software to download are also available by clicking on the corresponding links in the left column.

If you use Microsoft Works, templates for that program are not on the same web site. There are only a few templates available for Works – mostly greeting cards- and they are available at http://www.microsoft.com/products/works/fall_templates.mspx.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 8-13-06