Understanding the Microsoft Word Template File
The template .dot file defines the default styles, autotext, toolbars, and macros for documents attached to that template. You can also define the starting variables, properties, content, sections, and page layouts for new documents created from the template. The existing bulleted and numbered list items in the template file preload the bullet and number gallery in Microsoft Word, which can cause inconsistencies on multiple computers when these items are not properly defined in the template.
When you create a new document based on a template, the contents of the template file, including text, paragraphs, sections, headers, and footers are copied to the new document. In addition, the new document is attached to the template and uses the styles, autotext, toolbars, and macros defined in the template.
You can also attach an existing document to a template. The document can then use the autotext, toolbars, and macros defined in the template. If you select the Automatically update document styles option, the style definitions in the template overwrite the style definitions in the document. The existing document content is not changed, including the headers, footers, and page layout. Style modifications on individual paragraphs, such as the Keep with Next setting, are also not changed or reset. You can create a macro to find each style and reset the paragraph to the default style, which removes the modifications.