While it might seem easy, writing something from scratch is not as effortless as people think. Even the best professionals doubt their skills when faced with a blank screen and blinking cursor. Whether writing a resume or sales report, having a starting point can help you overcome that hurdle and finish your work. That’s where Google Docs templates can help. Google Docs offers dozens of templates for resumes, meeting notes, official letters, project proposals, and more, which you can use as a building block or inspiration.
Google Docs also allows you to create and add your own templates. Custom templates save you time from repeatedly creating the same document and decrease your chance of making mistakes. The best part is that once you add a template, you can use it from any device. So, whether you use Google Docs on your laptop, Android smartphone, or one of the shiny new Chromebooks, you can use this feature to improve your workflow. If you aren’t using Google Docs templates, you are missing out on an essential Google Docs feature. So, let’s find out how to create and use templates in Google Docs.
How to create templates in Google Docs
Google Docs lets users create and upload custom templates, but not all users can use this feature. The custom template feature is only available for Business Standard and Business Plus users, along with educational and non-profit accounts. You can check the complete list of supported accounts by visiting the Google Help Center page.
If your Google Workspace account is supported, but you still don’t see the custom templates feature, it means your account admin has disabled this feature. To resolve this issue, contact your account admin and ask them to enable this feature. If you are an account admin, open the Admin console, click the hamburger menu, and go to Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs > Templates to enable this feature for users.
Once your account satisfies all the requirements, you can create custom templates. To create custom templates, create your template file or files in Google Docs. Then, ensure the Templates gallery option is available on your Google Docs homepage. If you don’t see it, open the hamburger menu and use the Settings panel to enable it.
- Open Google Docs in your browser and click Templates gallery.
- Select your organization’s name and choose the Submit template option.
- Click the Select a document button to select the template file you created.
- Select the template file and click the Open button.
- Name the template and give it a category. You can also submit a copy of the file instead of the original file. Click the Submit button to save your template.
How to use templates in Google Docs
Apart from the custom templates you created, you can access more than 50 built-in templates focusing on different writing assignments, including letters, essays, class notes, resumes, and office work. The good news is that these templates are available to both Google Workspace and free Google account users. So, even if you use a personal Gmail account, you can use these templates.
How to open a template in Google Docs on the web
- Open Google Docs in a browser and hover your cursor over the Add (+) button in the lower-right corner.
- Click the template button to open the Templates gallery.
- Alternatively, open the Google Drive app in your browser and click the New button.
- Click the Add (+) button and choose Google Docs > From a template.
- To use your custom template, select your organization name and choose the template you want to use.
- Go to the General tab to access the built-in templates. If your account doesn’t support custom templates, the General tab is the only option you see.
- Edit the template to suit your needs.
How to add a template on Android
You can use the same steps on your Android device to start a document with a template. Click the Add (+) button in the lower-right corner and select the Choose template button to start.
How to add a template to an open Google Docs file
You can also insert a template in an open Google Docs blank document.
- Open a Google Docs document and click the File menu.
- Hover your cursor over New and select the From template gallery option.
- You will see the same Template gallery as before. Choose the template you want to use.
- Start editing it as per your needs.
How to show the Template gallery on the Google Docs homepage
You can also show the Template gallery on the Google Docs homepage to access the templates Google offers.
- Open the Google Docs homepage and click the hamburger menu in the upper-left corner.
- Click the Settings menu.
- Enable the checkbox below the Templates heading and click the OK button to save changes.
- The Google Docs homepage shows you the Templates gallery. Click the drop-down button to access the templates, including your custom templates.
How to create a Google Docs custom template with a personal Google account
If you use a personal Google account or one of the Google Workspace accounts that don’t support custom templates, you can use a workaround to use templates in Google Docs. It won’t be as easy and requires some extra steps, but it’s better than re-creating documents again and again.
How to create a custom template
- Open the Google Docs web app and start a blank document.
- Enter a document name in the name field. A good practice is to include the word “template” in the file name to make it easily identifiable.
- Create a folder to save your templates in one place. Click the Move icon and choose the New Folder option.
- Give it an identifiable name and click the blue checkmark.
- Select the Move here button to save your template file.
- Enter your template content and save it.
How to open and use your custom template from Google Drive
- Next time you want to use this template, open Google Drive in your web browser and locate the template folder you created.
- Open the folder, and right-click on the template you want to use.
- Select the Make a copy option to create a copy of your template.
- Drag and move the file outside your template folder.
- Click to open the file, rename it, and start working.
How to open and use your custom template from Google Docs
- Alternatively, to use the template you created, open the Google Docs homepage and locate the template file you created.
- Open the template and use the File menu to make a copy of your template document.
- Rename the new file and use the folder option to choose a location outside your template folder.
- Click the Make a copy button to save the new document and start working on it.
Create and use templates in Google Docs
Google Docs templates provide a stepping stone for your work. Whether writing a business letter or creating a sales report for your next quarterly meeting, Google Docs templates can remove the stress of tackling a blank page. With Google Docs custom templates, you can save time, reduce the chances of making mistakes, and create a consistent structure for your official documents that your team can follow.
We wish Google would open access to its custom template feature to all its users. The workaround we included in this guide works, but it’s not ideal. However, we are stuck with this method until the company decides to do so. If you want to learn more about Google Docs’ other features, like creating and inserting signatures, adding page numbers, and more, check out our article on Google Docs tips and tricks.