New Documents & Templates in Microsoft Word

Instructor: Sebastian Garces

Sebastian has taught programming and computational thinking for University students and has Master's degree in Computer and Information Technology

In this lesson, we are going to learn how to start from a blank document in Microsoft Word. Also, we'll explore some of the templates that the newest version offers to make our work easier.

Introducing: Microsoft Word

For purposes of this lesson, we'll be working with Microsoft Word 2016 for Mac. You can work with new documents and templates in other versions, but the appearance and location of functions might be different than you see here. Feel free to follow along with the steps in whatever version of Word you have.

Microsoft Word is a word processor developed to digitally simulate the work that used to be done with typewriters. it was the first word processor to enable the use of the mouse; older word processors could only be controlled with commands you entered on your keyboard.

New Documents

Working with the newest version of Microsoft Word comes with great advantages. The major change you'll notice with this versions is that it has a welcome screen when you first launch it:


Welcome Screen
Word Welcome Screen


This welcome screen gives us choices like working from a blank document, taking a guided tour of the new version, or selecting a template so we don't have to start from scratch with our work.

Blank Document

If we decide to start from scratch, it is as simple as clicking on the blank document option in the welcome menu:


Start with Blank Document
Blank Document Button


Once we click on that option, Microsoft Word will open a blank document like it did by default in previous versions, giving us the empty page to start working on. Remember that all the formatting options for your titles, subtitles, fonts, margins, etc. can be found in the top part of the screen by navigating through the different options.


Blank Document
Blank Word Document


Templates

As we saw before in the welcome screen, Microsoft Word offers a selection of templates that allow us to start with a certain type of document and then customize it to our needs, saving some time and effort.

If you don't feel like scrolling through all the templates, you can always find a specific one with the search bar, which is located in the right top corner of the welcome screen:


Search Bar
Template Search Bar


Now let's explore a couple of templates and see how we can modify and adapt them to our needs.

Resume Template

We'll start with one of the resume templates.


Resume Template
Resume Template in Word


As you can see, Microsoft Word will open the new document with the template on it, and with instructions on modifying it either in the structure of the template or where its content would normally go. In this resume example, we will easily see where to add our skills and previous jobs. To change the information in the template, just click where you want to add the new information and start writing. It's as simple as that.

If for some reason you don't like the template's default colors or the fonts beings, you can easily change that without having to alter the whole thing. Just look for the design tab at the top of the screen and select what you want to change:


Design Changes
Design Options in Word


This is a pretty basic example since there's not much you should change on a resume template. Now let's see a template that's a bit more complicated.

Brochure Template

If we start from the beginning, in the welcome screen, we will see there's a template called 'brochure.' This template can be useful if you want to create a service offer, a restaurant menu, a design proposition, or any kind of work that requires more of a visual guideline.

We can make the same kinds of content, color, and font changes in this template as we did in the resume template. We just need to click wherever we want to add the default text and start writing, or go to the design tab in the top part of the screen to change things like the template's general colors.

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