The use of application software in business world is quite varied, but the most widely used class of programs in this environment is text processors. Actually, the dominating leader in this area is Microsoft Word application, which has already become a business standard for formatting documents and handling text information. Within the business world, this software is used for creating memos, letters and letterheads, legal copies, reference documents, etc.
Generally, creating the documents in Microsoft Word, formatting and preparing them for printing can be done even by not very skilled users. However, the documents which include a lot of specific formatting, contain tables, formulas, lists, running heads, automatic elements and mixed form styles, it takes quite a lot of time to adjust all the necessary elements. If documents with similar formatting have to be created frequently, a convenient business tool is the use of templates.
A template is actually a style guide for the future document. A Word template can contain formatting, styles, boilerplate text, headers, footers, and macros, in addition to dictionaries, toolbars, and auto-text entries (Marshall, 2006). The template is market by the extensions “dot”¯, and should contain all formatting and all text that should be used in every document of this type (for example, the banking requisites of the company etc.). Templates greatly increase the speed of creating new documents and increase convenience of file sharing and distribution. They are particularly handy in multi-user environments: one employee may create and distribute a specially formatted document (Marshall, 2006).
Since templates are a very useful means of saving time and creating professional documents, there are many templates offered for downloading at websites, both free and paid ones. Actually, there are around only 50% of sites where MS Word templates are offered as paid ones, since this type of documents is quite easy to create. I have selected two sites for the analysis: www.brainybetty.com and www.klariti.com. I have chosen these two resources because they offer a variety of templates for different applications and for different purposes. Also, the choice of resources was based on the different target audience of the resources: the first one is mostly for designers, simple users and non-commercial organization; the second-one has is clearly business-directed.
The first site contains various templates for PowerPoint, 3DsMax, Word, Excel and other application software. There are many professional templates for graphic programs, but the MS Word templates offered at this site cannot be called truly professional. Some of them may be used for business environment, but some contain unnecessary text (instead of formatting only) and have very colorful style in general. In my opinion, these templates may be used for educational purposes, or for creating documents for inner use within organizations. For ordinary business circulation of documents, I would not recommend to use these templates.
The resource www.klariti.com contains articles on business writing, technical writing, proposal development, and also includes forms and templates for MS Office; for Microsoft Word in particular. There are numerous variants of business templates that are more professional-looking than at the previous resource and are mostly related to typical activities in this sphere, for example, business letters, forms, invoices, memos, balance sheets, letterheads, fax templates etc. These templates do not have unnecessary text information, contain properly formatted styles and can be easily used for creating new professionally looking documents. There also are paid links and paid downloads at this site, where templates are offered. As a comparison, the resource www.klariti.com has shown much better results concerning the variety of templates and their applicability to business environment.