Template Menu for Word

Today I was reading the SBS Diva’s blog about a custom toolbar menu she has been using in Office 2003 for ten years. It sounded like a great idea for the Word 2003 templates I use to create business letters. My basic template prompts me to select a name from my Contacts in Outlook 2003 and then a small macro fills in the name and address fields in the letter and envelope. The template is a real time saver for me so I have created three versions of the same basic template with different letterheads and footers. I suspect this menu will be helpful if you have three or more templates you need to use on a semi-regular basis.

Recently I have been writing more letters so I am naturally interested in saving a few steps in bringing up the template. My natural work flow is to start Word, click on File-New, and then click on one of the recently used templates. This is not too bad but a custom toolbar menu is a little more intuitive and quicker. Here is how I created my toolbar menu.

  1. The first step is to create a macro that loads the template. I recorded a macro since my VBA memory is fuzzy. The macro has only one command in it so you may want to create the module from scratch and save it in the normal.dot.

    Documents.Add Template:= "\\srv1\Users\whuber\My Documents\Templates\WEHC Ltr.dot",_
            NewTemplate:=False, DocumentType:=0

  2. To create the custom toolbar, click on View-Toolbars-Customize menu item. A Customize popup window will appear. Click on the New button to create the custom toolbar. I called my toolbar, My Templates.
  3. Now we are going to place a menu in the toolbar. With the Customize popup still open click on the Commands tab. Go to the bottom of the Categories list and click on New Menu. In the Commands area drag and drop the New Menu command on to your newly created toolbar.
  4. Now we are going to fill in the menu items. The first thing we have to do is to go over to the toolbar and click on the New Menu icon to open the menu up. Go back to the Customize popup and click on the Macros item in the categories lists. You should see the macros you have created in step 1. You can now drag and drop the macros on to the open menu in your custom toolbar. When you have all of the menu items created you can now right click on the menu items and change the menu labels to something more descriptive.

I think I spent more time writing about how to create the menu than actually creating the menu. Oh well! Enjoy!

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