Article ID: 872893
Microsoft Office’s kid brother Microsoft Works is jam packed with fun and functional templates – we show you how to find and use them, and how to create your own
Microsoft Works 6.0 is a productivity suite consisting of a basic word processor, spreadsheet, database, calendar and address book and often comes bundled with new PCs. However, upgrade to Works Suite 2002 for about £85 extra and you get a full copy of Word 2002 (which retails on its own for almost £300) as well as other useful programs such as Microsoft Money, Encarta and Picture It.
Regardless of whether you’re using Works Suite 2002 or Works 6.0 you’ll find each has over two hundred templates to hot start a range of projects. There are templates for all the major applications in each suite. You can also create your own templates and find and download templates from the Works website.
Works templates are a strong feature of the suite and make using the applications simple, fast and intuitive. The templates are quite detailed and specific, for example, the template to record a travel itinerary includes a series of headings which are ready for you simply to insert the required information – you don’t have to worry about any of the layout and the headings prompt you to include data you may have overlooked.
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Works templates are also customisable so you can make changes to them. For example, if there aren’t enough items in the itinerary worksheet, add more or remove any you don’t need.
You can also change the headings or text in most templates to suit your needs.
Works templates have been professionally designed to look neat and attractive. This is a big plus, particularly if you’re not creative and if you have trouble working out how to make a document look good. You can use a template simply for its design and change its purpose entirely (for example, turn a Word grocery list into a reminder list for any task). You’ll also find that studying how Works templates are formatted can help you design better documents in the future.
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To see the range of templates in Works, open the Task Launcher and click Tasks. This view of Works shows all the program templates grouped by function. You won’t know exactly which application the template uses until you choose to open it up. Choose a template from the Tasks list when you know exactly the task you want to perform and you don’t care which application it uses.
Choosing the Programs option in the Task Launcher shows you the applications in your version of Works down the left of the screen. Choose the application to use from this list and then you’ll see the templates available for this application in the middle of the screen. In most cases, the template descriptions include multiple templates grouped together. Select the group you are interested in, and open the appropriate application and the Template Wizard so you can select a specific template. Use this option when you’re sure you want to use, say, the spreadsheet tool – this way you’ll only see templates which are available for it. It’s also a useful option when there isn’t a template for exactly the task you want to perform but you know you want to use a certain application (database for example) and you think you can find a template which you can adapt.
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There is a limited range of Works templates available online (most already come with your Works program). To find these templates visit works.msn.com and choose the Offers and Free Stuff link – there you’ll find the New Templates link which you can click to see the templates available. Click any template to download it and, when asked if you’d like to Open the file or save it to your computer, choose Open. The file will download and then install itself – most likely in your My Documents folder. If you don’t find it there, use the filename which appears on the website under the template icon to search for it on your hard drive.
When you’ve downloaded the template, you will need to add it to your Works Task Launcher lists. To do this, open the file in the Works application it was created in, for example, XLR files are spreadsheets, DOC are Word, WPS are Works word processor, and WDB are database files. When the file is open, save it as a template. In the Works spreadsheet, database and word processor you do this by choosing File, Save As and click the Template button. Type a name for your template in the box (make it descriptive of what the template does) and click OK.
In Microsoft Word, save a document as a template by choosing File, Save As and, from the ‘Save as type’ dropdown list, choose Document Template (*.dot). Type a name for your template and store it in the location which Word chooses for you to use. You can then discard the original document.
Now, whenever you open the Works Task Launcher, you’ll find your template appears in two places. Click Tasks and the template will be listed in your Personal Templates collection – the link to this is at the foot of the list on the left of the page. Alternatively, choose Programs and click the program name that you used to create the template. You’ll find your template in the alphabetical list of templates in the middle of the dialog.
There are two ways to create a Works template. You can begin with a document which is similar in style or layout to the document you want to create and alter this to suit, or start from scratch using the blank document option in the Works Task Launcher.
Your template should include all the details you want to appear every time you create this type of document. Be aware that it’s much easier to delete a paragraph than it is to type it. So, you may opt to include in your template a paragraph that you only use, say, one in four times, simply because you can delete it easily when you don’t want it and it’s there when you do. When you’ve completed your template, follow the instructions so it will appear in your Task Launcher.
You’ll find Works templates are a great tool for getting a range of tasks done very quickly indeed. You may even find that you miss the templates when working in Microsoft Office as they’re not available in that suite. If this is the case, remember that Works’ spreadsheet and word processor files can be opened in Word and Excel!
Pick a template, choose your formatting and hey presto, all the work has been done for you!
To use a template that you’ve located in the Task Launcher, click the Task group name and click the ‘Start this task’ link. Wait as the application opens and the wizard appears. Here you can choose the actual template to use from the list displayed in the dialog. To see what each looks like, click it once to select it, then look on the screen behind the dialog as the basics of the document will appear here for you to see. If the dialog is in the way, either click the Minimize wizard button or drag the dialog out of the way by grabbing its title bar with your mouse.
Some wizards offer more than one screen of choices, for example, the Word wizards also have a Format option which lets you choose the fonts and colours to use for the document. Once you’ve made your choices from the wizard, click Finish to close it. You now have your document on the screen and you can begin working on it.
This material is the copyright material of or licensed to Future Publishing Limited
(http://www.futurenet.co.uk/), a Future Network plc group company, UK 2004. All rights reserved.
Article ID: 872893 - Last Review: 26 September 2004 - Revision: 2.2