How to Create a Template in Google Docs

Writing a document

Want to create similar documents in Google Docs, time and time again? You’ll need to create a template. Here’s how.

Google Docs has become an essential tool for creating and sharing documents in the digital age. One of its most valuable features is the ability to create templates, which can help you to save time and streamline your workflow.

Templates enable you to create a consistent format and structure for your documents. Creating a Google Docs template is a simple and highly customizable process, making it an ideal solution for a variety of purposes—from designing meeting agendas to planning project timelines.

If you want to create a template in Google Docs, follow the steps below.

How to Access the Google Docs Template Gallery

Google Docs has a template gallery with various templates you can use as a starting point for your document. Templates can be business related (such as letters or brochure templates) or you can use them for your personal use, such as custom meal planning or workout templates.

Once you’ve accessed the template gallery, you can browse through the available templates and use one as a base for your new document.

To access the Google Docs template gallery, follow these steps:

  1. Open a new Google Docs document. If you’re not logged in, sign in with your Google account.
  2. Press File > New > From template gallery.
    Open Google Docs template gallery
  3. In the template gallery menu, browse through the available templates to find one that meets your needs.
  4. To use a template, click on one of the icon cards to open it in a new Google Docs document.
    Selecting a template in Google Docs
  5. The new document will open with a copy of the template’s content and formatting. You can now edit the document to customize it to your requirements.
    Example of a Google Docs template

How to Design a Document to Use as a Template in Google Docs

Creating a custom template in Google Docs is a good way to create your own custom document layout that fits your specific needs that you can then reuse, again and again.

The first step in creating a custom template is to open a blank document in Google Docs. You can use this blank document as the basis for your template. You’ll need to set up the layout and formatting for your custom template.  This involves selecting the appropriate text style, font, and paragraph formatting to match the desired template design.

However, there’s one limitation you need to be aware of. You can’t add a custom template to the template gallery unless you have a Google Workspace account. If you don’t, you can still use your custom document, but you’ll need to use a workaround to use it as a template instead.

To design a custom template in Google Docs:

  1. Open a new Google Docs document.
  2. In the blank document, customize the styles of your headings, body text, and other elements by using the toolbar and Format menu. You can also choose the font, size, color, and other formatting options you want for your template.
    Docs format toolbar
  3. Insert any necessary tables or bullet points using the Table or List menu options.
    Inserting a list in Google Docs
  4. Add any desired images, shapes, or lines to your template using the Insert menu.
    The Insert menu in Google Docs
  5. If you want to add a header or footer to your document, press Insert > Headers and Footers and select either Header or Footer.
    Inserting a header or footer in Google Docs
  6. Save the template file with a name that you’ll recognize (eg. Letter template) using the Rename box in the top-left.
    Renaming a Google Docs document

Make any further changes to your template, as desired.

How to Convert a Google Docs Document into a Template

Once you’ve designed your custom template in Google Docs, you’ll need to convert it into a template.

If you’re using a Google Workspace account, you can transfer the document to the template gallery for you to reuse at any point. You’ll need to make sure that your account has the necessary permissions to add templates to your workspace template gallery.

If it doesn’t, check with your account administrator to ensure you have the right permissions in place before you proceed.

To convert a Google Docs document as a template using Google Workspace:

  1. Open the Google Docs website in your web browser and sign in.
  2. Make sure you can see the Template gallery menu in the top-right corner. If you can’t, head to the top-left corner and select the menu icon > Settings.
    Open Settings in Google Docs
  3. Make sure that the Display recent templates on home screens checkbox is enabled before pressing OK.
    Enable templates view in Google Docs
  4. Once you can see the menu, select the Template gallery menu icon in the top right.
    Open the template gallery in Google Docs
  5. Select your organization from the tabbed menu at the top.
    Select Google Workspace corporation in Google Docs template gallery
  6. Next, select the Submit template button.
    Submit a template in Google Docs
  7. Press Select a document and select your template file.
  8. If you want to keep the original document, press the Submit a copy of this file instead of the original slider.
  9. Type a custom name for the template in the Title box.
  10. Choose a suitable category for your template from the Category drop-down menu (eg. Letters for a letter template).
  11. Press Submit to add the template to your workspace.
    Google Docs submit template menu box
  12. As soon as you press Submit, the document will be added to your gallery. You can select it by pressing the icon card for the template—a new document will open for you to use.
    Select a custom template in Google Docs

Using a Google Docs Document as a Template With a Standard Google Account

If you don’t have a Google Workspace account, you can’t add the document to the template gallery. Instead, you’ll need to keep the document unused and make a copy of it every time you wish to use it. To use a Google Docs document as a template using a normal Google account:

  1. Open the Google Drive website and sign in.
  2. Locate your document and select it.
  3. Right-click the document (or press the three dots menu icon) and select Make a copy.
    Making a copy of a Google Docs document
  4. The document will be created with the name Copy of followed by the document’s original name. Locate the file, right-click it, and select Rename to rename it.
    Renaming a copied file in Google Docs
  5. Otherwise, to begin using it, double-click the file or right-click and select Open With > Google Docs to begin editing it.
    Opening a Google Drive file in Google Docs

Using Google Docs

Thanks to the steps above, you can quickly create templates in Google Docs. This’ll allow you to save time and create commonly styled documents with ease.

Want to spice up your documents? Abandon the walls of text and insert video into your Google Docs document instead.

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