1/11/219:00 am Creating Template Files For Any App On Your Mac You can turn a regular file into a template file using the Stationery Pad or Locked file attributes. This lets you start a new file with the content in an existing file, but insures that you don't accidentally overwrite the template. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Let me show you how to create a template from almost any kind of document and almost any kind of application on your Mac. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 800 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So there's a really old feature built into macOS that allows you to create template files. Files that you could use to start a new document instead of starting a blank document. As an example here let's just use TextEdit. A pretty simple app for creating text documents. Now I'm going to create a New Document here. Let's say as part of my job I have to create documents that look like this all the time. So you could see here if I always have to start with this as kind of my template it would be nice to able to start with this rather than a blank document and have to type all this out. So let's Save this first. I'm just going to save it like a normal TextEdit file and put it on the Desktop. Let me close it. Now I'm going to go to this file and use File, Get Info or Command i to bring up information about that file. Now at the top here under General you'll see information about the file. If you don't see it you have to click here to reveal it. There are two check boxes here that will help us create a template from this file. The first one we're going to look at is called Stationery Pad. I'm going to check that and then close this. Now this file behaves differently when you double click it. So I'm going to double click it and you would think it would just open that file. But in fact this is what happens. It creates a duplicate of that file with the word Copy after it. So I get Report copy rather than just Report. Then it opens that copy. So there's no danger of me overwriting the original report file. I'm starting with a brand new file that has all the contents of the original file. This file is already saved. Now chances are that I want to change the name of this. I can do that in many ways. For instance I could click here and change the name there. Or go to File, Rename and change it that way. Or I can just change it right here in the Finder. By using the Stationery Pad function I guarantee that I won't accidentally use the original file. It'll stay in its pristine condition because, sure I could go and every time I want to use this template select it, use File, Duplicate or Command D to create a new version of it. Or without Stationery Pad selected I could open it up and then remember each time to go to File, and Duplicate or hold the Option key down and do File, Save As to save a copy. But if you do that everyday, one day you're bound to accidentally save over the original file. So that's where that Stationery Pad check box comes in handy. But that's not the only way to do it. Notice that in the Info window here there's also Locked. That's use that instead. Now when I double click to open this file it opens the file just fine. But if I try to Edit it, as soon as I make my first change it's going to tell me it's locked and it's going to give me the chance to duplicate the file. So I could do that. Or if I wanted to before I get to that I could go to File, and then Duplicate or hold the Option key down and do File, Save As and save a new copy of that file that's not locked. So this shifts where you do some of the work but it's basically that same amount of work and it guarantees that you won't overwrite that original file. Now one of the advantages of Locked over Stationery Pad is that when you have a Stationery Pad you can still open it up from within TextEdit. I can go to File, Open or just use the Open dialogue when I first launch the app. Open it up and now I'm editing the original file. So it only actually creates the duplicate of the file if you double click it in the Finder. This could be a problem or it could be an advantage depending upon how you use the Template file. Having the file Locked instead of a Stationery Pad will guarantee that you can't easily change the original file no matter how you open it. But you could also select Stationery Pad first and then Locked and get the benefits of both. So now with both of those checked if you double click it to Open it creates a duplicate and you're editing the duplicate and you can change the file name. But if in TextEdit you go and Open the file, you've opened it but you can see here at the top it's Locked. So now when I try to actually do something with it it's going to force me to make a duplicate of the file or choose File, Duplicate or hold the Option key and choose Save As. Now a few notes about doing this. It makes sense to use it in an app like TextEdit where there's no built-in template functionality. But in something like Pages there's a built-in template system and you can choose from an existing template or create your own. So here in Pages I would simply create a document like this and then do File, and then Save As Template and save it as a custom template that would then appear under My Templates here in the Template Chooser in Pages. A lot of more complex apps like Pages, Numbers, Keynote, and things like Microsoft Word already have template functionality built into it so you don't really need to use this. But you still can. Some apps don't seem to allow you to use the Stationery Pad at all. For instance here I've created a document in Pixelmator Pro. So it's just some sort of starting point for maybe some graphics I usually create. Now if I go and try to set this to Stationery Pad you can see it's not allowed. But you can set it to Locked. So setting it to Locked is your only option there to create a template. Now if you're curious about why it's not allowed, well, the answer is simple. This isn't a file. It looks like a file but it's actually a folder filled with several files. You can tell that by Control clicking on it and you could see Show Package Contents. It's a folder site called a Package. If I use that you could see the inside of Rectangle.pxd is actually a file, another folder, and some other things in it. So if an app has that complex type that it saves to that is actually a Package folder, not an individual file, then you won't be able to set it to Stationery Pad. Related Subjects: Finder (293 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 3 Responses to “Creating Template Files For Any App On Your Mac” Joost 3 years ago A nice trick, but it doesn’t work with emails. Since big sir I don’t have templates in Mail anymore. Could you show if there is a way to do it? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Joost: See https://macmost.com/how-to-create-email-templates-in-mojave-mail.html Joost 3 years ago great trick, thank you. would be nice if Apple had just a right-click to create a template in the appropriate folder Comments Closed.