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Is there any way in Google Docs to specify a default document template that all my new documents are based on?

Like most of the metric world, I don't use the legal paper size. I also generally don't print my documents much so I don't need 1 foot margins.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Create a template in the gallery/repository and select them as the basis when making a new document.

  1. Create your document and lay out the elements on the page
  2. Save this document under a name you can remember or sets it apart as a template.
  3. Go to the menu: Create new > From template...
  4. Select the "My Templates" tab
  5. Click Submit a template
  6. Select the document you just created as the template you want to use and share.

Next time you want to create a new document based on a template, you'll go back to the Template Gallery and select it from there.

To speed the last step for next time, note the URL that appears in your browser when you open up the template. It will look something like this:


Make a bookmark out of that. Next time you hit that address you'll load up the document. That's as default as you can get right now.

Keep in mind that while other people using Google Docs will also be able to use your template for their documents, they will not be able to edit it.

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Thanks. How do I make that template the default? ie. So I don't have to jump through hoops to use it every time. – CAD bloke Jun 8 '11 at 0:53
You can't make default. But you can open it up next time via a bookmark. @cad – Eight Days of Malaise Jun 8 '11 at 2:58

It's been recently changed, now you:

  • Create a new document
  • Click File > Page setup
  • Change the paper size to A4
  • Change the margins as appropriate.
  • Click "Set as default"
  • Click OK

Job done!

Full details are in the official documentation at http://support.google.com/docs/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=183618

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You can also do this process with an existing document. Thanks for answering. :) – CAD bloke May 9 '12 at 1:26
That is not template, but it helps. – Lennart Rolland Aug 18 '15 at 10:01

If you're also looking to set default styles for your font and size, directions are here: https://support.google.com/docs/answer/189190?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

(I came across this page when looking for my answer, so I thought I'd help others out looking for the same.)

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