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How to change the default template in Office 365

All Office apps have a default document or file template which is a ‘blank’ template. You can download various templates for most Office apps, and you can create your own custom ones as well. If you like a custom template and would like to use it as the default template in Office 365, you can. It is fairly easy to change the default template for an Office app.

Each Office app has its own template type so you will need to set the template for each app separately. The process is going to be the same.

Default template in Office 365

Open the Office app that you want to change the default template for. We’re going with Word for this article but pick whichever app you want. Select the template you want to use and open a new document in that template. You can change the template if you want e.g., customize the colors that are used.

When you’re ready to set the current document’s design and theme as the default template, go to the Design tab. Look for the ‘Set as Default’ button and click it. Close the app, and open it again. The default document or file that is created will use the template you set.

During testing, we found that the default template had to be set twice in order to be applied. This might be a fluke, or it might be a bug, or it might even be by design. Regardless, if the template doesn’t change, open the Office app again and apply it to a document, and then set it as the default template one more time.

You can download templates and use them as the default template. Just make sure the template file is saved permanently to your system. Most templates are downloaded directly to Office’s directory for templates but if you happen to have downloaded one outside an Office app, you need to make sure a copy of it is saved to the templates folder for the respective Office app.

You will still be able to select a different template when you create a new document and once a document has been created on the new default template, you will still be able to make changes to it. The template will not restrict formatting in any way so much like the ‘Blank’ templates that you start with in the Office apps the new default template that you set can also be customized on a per-document basis.

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