how to use a dotx file?

Copper Contributor

It seems simple enough - just open it and start writing.

But I find the expandable text boxes being shown there a bit offputting and I find that I have to manually expand them to be able to write more.

So offputting I figure I"m doing it wrong.

The template should be invisible to me shouldn't it?  I just write and it performs?

So I have a dotx file my school insisted I download and use for letters.

How do I use it?  Can anyone help?

p.s.  I now find the text box won't expand to a second page - so I can't even continue a letter. I must have it very wrong.

I'm happy to upload the dotx but there seems no provision.


3 Replies

Oh dear, no one answered you. You probably have found out. But since 1839 people viewed this, let me try and quickly answer:

  1. A template is a file from which Word instantiates a new document.
  2. Templates appear in the Template area at the top of the File Backstage.
  3. The Backstage is the non-document view you get when you click on the File Tab (Ribbon) in the Function Tab area at the top of your Word window.
    For example you'll find "Blank document" etc. as templates.
  4. A template fil has the extension .dotx not .docx
    (to see that, in the File Explorer, go to Options, Click the View tab, then down the list, tick OFF "hide extensions for known file types"; press OK & start a new File Explorer window (Windows key+ E))
  5. It reads like you are editing in the .dotx. Thus you are editing your template(!) but you still have no way to use it to instantiate new .docx files
  6. To make the file appear in the File backstage, go to this folder in your File Explorer:
    C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates
    replace "user name" with your user name on your pc
  7. Drop the .dotx file you received into this folder.
    Let's say your template is named xyz.dotx
  8. Now, in Word in the Template area you should see xyz
  9. If you click on that template, a new blank document, based on that template "xyz" is instantiated and shows in Word (you're back on the Home Ribbon / Function tab)

Hope that helps

@Jan_Wijninckx Dear Jan, I did everything as you instructed, still the template does not appear at the File Backstage. Possibly because - with the single exception of Normal.dotm - the Backsatge is overcrowded with online templates. But I cannot prohibit these online templates as shutting down the internet connection would disable many other features. Any idea how I can persuade Word to display my personal templates?

@Tamas60 You're right, doesn't work (it did) that folder. So I used file save as, then selected .dotx, to see the folder location. Comes up as:
C:\Users\username\Documents\Custom Office Templates

No go to File > New > Personal, and you should see the template


So that is the location. I also see that Microsoft says:
/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Templates

Suggest you use the file saveas to get to the location :)