#334 Existing Documents as Templates

Have you ever needed to create a new document that will be very similar to one that you’ve created previously? Of course you can open the old one, make your changes and then do a Save As…  This is pretty simple but it does have one possible pitfall — more than once, I’ve accidentally saved over the original and lost it forever.

I’d like to propose a better, safer way…actually two better, safer ways.

1. New from existing…

If you go to the File tab and click on the New tab, you’ll find the New from existing…option, which prevents you from overwriting your original file.

File » New from existing...

File » New from existing…

This way, all text from the source document is brought into the new one, along with any styles or other template-y things. Basically, this is the quickest and easiest way to make one document share information from your existing files. And the best part if that it works in Word, Excel and PowerPoint the same way.

2. Windows Explorer

There is also another great trick that works much the same way from within Windows Explorer. Simply locate the original file, right-click on it and select New.  That will give you a new copy ready for editing, etc the same way as the method described above.

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