Templates are documents, workbooks, or presentations that are used in Office 2011 for Mac as starting points to build new files upon. When you save a file as a template, it becomes available in the templates gallery of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. A classic example of a template is a business letterhead that contains both formatting and content ready to be filled in. Each application has built-in templates that you see when you choose File→New from Template. It's easy to make your own templates, too.

To make a template, you start with something customized, ready to use as the basis of new files. All you have to do is to use Save As and change the Format pop-up menu to [Application Name] Template. The shortcut changes to My Templates, which is where you should save your template. Just give it a name, click Save, and you're all done! Your saved template will appear in the template gallery of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint as appropriate.

Choosing File→New from Template opens the current application's template gallery. Your saved templates will appear in the gallery under My Templates. When you open a template from the gallery, a new document identical to the saved template will open and it will have a generic name, such as Document 1, Workbook 3, or Presentation 2.

If you want to edit a template, choose File→Open. Change the Format to Template, and then navigate to the My Templates folder, select the template you want, and then click Open. When you open a template this way, it opens the template itself, as opposed to a new file based on the template. Choose File→Save to overwrite the template or File→Save As to create a new template.