On Organizing Templates

Sometimes I’m stupid.

Sometimes I make myself feel stupid.

Today was one of those days.

Over the years I’ve collected a fair number of custom templates for Microsoft Word. I have a screenplay template, for instance. I’ve created a few specialized letter templates. I have some templates I’d put together for EB Games. And I’ve created some templates for my current job as well to take care of most of my article formatting needs.

Here’s the problem. My “General” template tab in Microsoft Word had become unruly. I had too many templates. My Sherlock Holmes letter template was next to the resume template I like using, and those were next to various EB Games templates, and lost in the jungle were the templates I’d built for work articles.

Could I organize these? Open the template window in Word, and there’s eight or nine tabs. Surely I could move the letter templates to the letter tab, couldn’t I?

I couldn’t drag them. Blast!

I’d ask the dog! So, I asked the dog. And the dog had this to say:

If you want to create custom tabs for your templates in the Templates dialog box, create a new subfolder in the Templates folder and save your templates in that subfolder. The name you give that subfolder will appear on the new tab.

Helpful? Mildly. For the EB Games templates — which, realistically, I can just delete, as I don’t have any of the forms they were for anymore, I’d have no reason to ever use these again, but they’re something I created and I don’t want to part with them — creating a new directory in my Templates folder was a snap. But what about my letter templates?

It turns out that if you create a folder called “Letters & Faxes” that you can place letter templates there, and they show up in the Letters & Faxes tab alongside the pre-installed Word templates.

Same with Resumes. Create a folder called “Other Documents” and you’re set.

I placed the screenplay template in a “Publications” directory.

It was one of those things. It seemed like it shouldn’t work, and yet it did! And because it worked — right, the first time — I felt stupid because I’d overthought the problem and assumed that it wouldn’t work.

Which means that tomorrow at work, I can organize my templates there, too! 🙂

I really do surprise myself sometimes.

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