Creating Add-in Templates

If you’ve been recording your own macros, as explained in our past several newsletters, you’ve probably been saving them in your Normal template, where they’ll be available to use with any document. The Normal template may not be the best place to save them, however. Since it’s used a lot, it can become corrupt. (You should back up your Normal template frequently.) Also, saving macros in your Normal template makes it hard to keep them organized.

What’s the alternative? Create your own add-in templates as a place to keep your macros. Doing so has several advantages:

1. It makes organizing your macros easy. You can keep all the macros for a particular project or task in a single add-in template.

2. It makes backing up your macros easy. Just keep copies of your templates in several locations.

3. It makes sharing your macros easy. Just give a copy of a template to a colleague or friend.

For information on how to use add-in templates, please see the past two issues of Editorium Update:

So how do you create an add-in template? Here’s the way I like to do it:

1. Create a new document in Microsoft Word.

2. Save the document as a Microsoft Word template, which has a “.dot” extension. Be sure to give it a name that describes the purpose of the macros you’re going to store in the template (for example, or

3. Click the “Tools” menu.

4. Click “Macro” and (in Word 97 or later) “Macros.”

5. Click the “Organizer” button.

On the “Macro Project Items” tab, you’ll see two windows. The name of the template you just created should be displayed above the left window, which should be empty since the template doesn’t contain any macros yet. If the name of your template isn’t displayed, click the drop-down list under the window and select it.

The window on the right should show the macros available in (as indicated above the window). If the window isn’t displaying, click the drop-down list under the window and select it. Then, do this:

1. Select the macros in that you want to copy to your new template. (To select several at once, hold down the CTRL key while clicking the macro names.)

2. Click the “Copy” button. The macros should now be displayed in the left window as being in your new template. (You can also delete or rename macros if you like.)

3. Click the “Close” button.

4. Save your new template, which now contains the macros you copied to it.

You’ve just created your own add-in template containing your own macros.

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