Tips for using templates

The templates can be tricky. Read the instructions in the template carefully before deleting them.

  • Only paste text into your document without formatting. If you bring pre-existing formatting with your text, then the formatting in the template is likely to be corrupted. Use the “paste special” command rather than keyboard shortcuts. There are instructions in each template on how to do this.
  • Use the fields. The document title is contained in pre-defined fields at various points in the template documents. These include the headings, the footers, and the final “Notes” section. Wherever they are used you will see the words “Adjust in Document Properties”. Don’t try to type the title in, because you will end up with an error message in the text when you print the document. Instructions on how to find and edit the document properties are provided in each template.
  • Use the styles. Each of the template documents uses preformatted styles for paragraphs, headings and other components. These styles will automatically set out your text in an appropriate manner. However, they affect more than just appearances. They will also underpin accessibility tools for those who need to use them. It is important therefore that you actually use the styles rather than simply typing text in a manner which looks like the style.
  • Use the “notes” style to cross reference other documents. Wherever possible you should provide the reader with a means of locating any document which is referred to in your text. The “notes” style is provided for this purpose. Remember to provide the actual URL in addition to any hotlink.
  • Keep the white space. The templates provide lots of room between paragraphs, which means that the document you prepare is likely to be longer than you intended. This is deliberate, as white space promotes readability. Don’t close up gaps or reduce the font size.
  • Remember that the definitions in the policy template are formatted as a table. This means that each term and its meaning should be in a different cell. The table has no borders, but you could insert and then remove them if this helps during the drafting process.