How to Apply a Template to an Existing Word Document: A Step-by-Step Guide

Applying a template to an existing Word document can help you achieve a consistent and professional look with minimal effort. This guide will show you how to add a new design to your current document while keeping all your content intact. Just follow the steps below, and you’ll have a fresh and cohesive format in no time.

How to Apply a Template to an Existing Word Document

In this section, we’ll walk through the process of applying a template to an existing Word document. It’s straightforward, and you’ll see an immediate transformation in your document’s appearance.

Step 1: Open Your Word Document

To start, you need to open the Word document to which you want to apply the template.

Make sure the document is saved and closed before you proceed to ensure all changes are saved.

Step 2: Navigate to the Design Tab

Go to the "Design" tab located on the Ribbon at the top of Word.

This tab will give you access to various design and formatting tools available in Word.

Step 3: Select the ‘Themes’ or ‘Templates’ Option

Under the Design tab, find ‘Themes’ or ‘Templates’ (depending on your Word version).

Clicking this will open a variety of design options that you can apply to your document.

Step 4: Choose Your Desired Template

Browse through the available templates and select one that fits your needs.

Once you choose a template, Word will automatically apply its styles to your document.

Step 5: Adjust Styles if Necessary

After applying the template, you might need to tweak some settings to ensure everything looks perfect.

This could involve adjusting headings, fonts, or colors to better match your content.

Step 6: Save Your Document

Finally, save your document to ensure all changes are finalized.

Save it with a new name if you want to keep the original document for future reference.

After completing these steps, your document will have a polished and professional look that matches the chosen template.

Tips for How to Apply a Template to an Existing Word Document

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of applying a template to an existing Word document:

  • Backup Your Original Document: Always save a copy of your original document before making major changes.
  • Explore Templates: Take some time to browse different templates to find the best one for your needs.
  • Customize Templates: Don’t be afraid to tweak the template after applying it to better suit your content.
  • Check Compatibility: Some templates may work better with newer versions of Word, so ensure compatibility.
  • Use Consistent Styles: Make sure the applied template uses styles that are consistent throughout your document for a cohesive look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I revert back to the original document after applying a template?

Yes, you can revert to the original format by undoing the changes or reopening the original document if you saved a copy.

Will applying a template erase my content?

No, applying a template should only change the formatting and style, not the actual content of your document.

Can I create my own template?

Absolutely! You can create a custom template and apply it to any document.

Do templates affect document compatibility?

Some templates might have features that are only compatible with certain versions of Word. Always check compatibility beforehand.

How do I remove a template?

To remove a template, you can manually reset styles or choose a default template from the Design tab.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Navigate to the Design tab.
  3. Select ‘Themes’ or ‘Templates.’
  4. Choose your desired template.
  5. Adjust styles if necessary.
  6. Save your document.


Applying a template to an existing Word document is a simple yet powerful way to enhance the look and feel of your document. It not only saves time but also ensures a professional and consistent appearance. Whether you’re preparing a report, a resume, or any other type of document, using templates can make the process much smoother.

Remember to explore different templates to find the perfect fit for your needs. Don’t hesitate to customize the template to match your unique style and content requirements. And always save a backup of your original document before making significant changes.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll master the art of applying templates to your Word documents in no time. So go ahead, give your documents the makeover they deserve, and enjoy the polished results!

For further reading, you might want to explore more advanced features in Word, like creating your own templates or learning how to integrate templates with other Microsoft Office tools. Happy formatting!