• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Lesson 3. Working with Documents > Starting a New Document

Starting a New Document

When you choose to start a new document in Word, you can take three routes. You can

  • Create a blank new document using Word's default template.

  • Create a document using one of Word's many other templates or a custom one you created yourself.

  • Create a document using one of the Word wizards, such as the Fax or Envelop Wizard.

The amount of software assistance you get in creating your new document is greatly increased when you choose the template or wizard option.

Plain English

Template A blueprint for a document that may already contain certain formatting options and text.

When you create a new document from scratch, you are actually using a template—the Blank Document template. Documents based on the Blank Document template do not contain any premade text (as some of the other templates do), and the formatting contained in the document reflects Word's default settings for margins, fonts, and other document attributes (including any you customized specifically to your needs or preferences). To find more information on default Word settings involving font and document attributes, see Lesson 7, "Changing How Text Looks," and Lesson 11, "Working with Margins, Pages, and Line Spacing," respectively).

As covered in Lesson 2, "Working in Word," Word automatically opens a new blank document for you when you start the Word software. You can also open a new document when you are already in the Word application window.

To open a new document, follow these steps:

  1. Select File, and then New. The task pane opens on the right side of your screen. Under New from Template, select General Templates and Word opens the Templates dialog box with a range of templates from which to choose (see Figure 3.1).

  2. Make sure that the General tab is selected in the Templates dialog box, and then double-click the Word Blank Document icon. A new document appears in the Word application window.

Although the steps shown here are designed for you to create a new blank document, you could have chosen any of the templates available in the Templates dialog box to create a new document. The fastest way to create a new blank document is to click the New Blank Document icon on the Word Standard toolbar.


What Happened to My Previous Document? If you were already working on a document, the new document will, in effect, open on top of the document you were previously working on. You can get back to the previous document by clicking the appropriately named document icon on the Windows taskbar (if you haven't yet named the first document, it might appear as Document1 on the taskbar). You can also select the Windows menu to see a list of currently opened documents. Click any document in the list to switch to it.

Figure 3.1. When you choose New on the File menu, the task pane opens and you can choose General Templates.


Removing Multiple Document Icons from the Taskbar If you prefer not to see the open document icons on the taskbar, select the Tools menu, select Options, and click the View tab. Clear the Windows in Taskbar check box. You must then use the Windows menu to switch between documents.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint