March 2006: I've added info at the end about how to point to a directory of templates.
This is embarrassing. I have a huge blogapalooza on styles but left out templates. (Updated it yesterday a bit but still, no real thorough coverage.)
I shall remedy that immediately.
All right. Let's say you have the following:
- A bunch of styles you need to have when you create a document.
- Some canned text, like your signature or a graphic logo, that you use in a lot of documents
- Or you're just darned picky about how you want your documents ;>
You are an excellent candidate for using templates. Templates are documents that store styles, text, graphics, general formatting—whatever you want. You create a document, save it as a template in the Template Place, then point to that template when you want to create a new document using what it's got. (“Styles and canned text...that's what it's got....remember that.”)
And it really couldn't be easier.
Making a Template
Open a new document.
Put in it what you want in the template. Styles, graphics, text of
every kind and variety. Whatever.
Then choose File > Templates > Save.
(To create a new category, click the Organizer button, select a category in the button that appears, right-click on it and choose New. An untitled category will appear. IMMEDIATELY start typing the name of your new category. Click somewhere else in the category list when you're done typing. Click Close.)
Now you've got a template.
Using a Template
You need to create a new document using that template.
Choose File > New > Templates and Documents.
Click Open and you'll have a new untitled document based on that template.
The Coolest Part—Making That Template Come Up When You Create Any New Document
Choosing File > New > Templates and Documents is fine but what if that's your template you use all the time? You can make it come up when you just choose File > New > [type of document] by setting it as the default template.
Choose File > Templates > Organize.
Open the category your template is in, in the left side.
Click Close. You're done! Choose File > New > [type of document] and you'll see the effect.
To switch back to the normal original boring blank document, repeat the steps but this time choose Reset Default Template > [type of document]
Pointing to an Existing Directory of Templates
If you have a bunch of templates, Microsoft or OpenOffice.org, set up OpenOffice.org to know where they are. Then you can get to them as above by choosing File > New > Templates and Documents.
Converting, If You Want to Point to Microsoft Format Templates
First, if they're in Microsoft format, you need to convert them to OpenOffice format. Choose File > Wizards > Document Converter. Follow the wizard through to create a converted set of copies of the templates.
Click OK, and OK, and OK again.