International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Drafting IEC publications



Attaching the IEC template
to a document

This page contains basic instructions to guide you through the process of attaching the IEC standard template ( to your working document. However, we recommend also downloading the User guide:


File name
User guide to the IEC template IEC-template-V5_User-guide.pdf installation and user guide icon 2,3 MB


Step-by-step instructions


1) Download the template and save it in the Word templates folder.

Download the IEC template file - do not open it when your browser asks you. Opening the file only creates a new document based on the template, but you need to save the template itself.


If your browser opens the file straightaway, without asking whether to open or save it, simply close it. Go back to the browser, right-click on the downloadable file and select Save target as...


Save the template in Word's Templates folder on your computer. Typical paths to the Templates folder are:

  • Windows 7:
    C:\Users\[user name]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates
  • Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\[user name]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates


2) Either create a new document based on the template

or attach the template to an existing document.

2a) Creating a new document based on the template

If you want to make use of the model structure with the examples and explanations, you need to create a new document based on the template. Proceed as follows:

  • Word 2010: File > New > My templates; double-click on
  • Word 2007: like Word 2010, but instead of File, click on the MS Office button in the upper left hand corner.
  • Word 2003/before: File > New; double-click on

A new document opens that has the IEC standard template attached to it. You can now use the IEC styles, and you will find the automation features in the Add-Ins tab.


Save the document; if you are working in Word 2007 or 2010, make sure you save it in the appropriate format for your working group (.doc or .docx).

2b) Attaching the template to an existing document

Open the document to which you want to attach the template.

  • Word 2010: File > Options > Add-Ins; at the bottom, next to Manage, select Templates, then click Go.
  • Word 2007: like Word 2010, but instead of File, click on the MS Office button in the upper left hand corner, then select Word options.
  • Word 2003/before: Tools > Templates and Add-Ins

The Templates and Add-ins window opens.


template window


Click on Attach (1) and browse to the location of, then click OK.

The option Automatically update document styles

The option Automatically update document styles (2) replaces all the styles in a document with the original styles from the template. As long as this option is checked, the updating takes place every time the document is opened.


It needs to be checked the first time the IEC template is attached to a document, so that the styles from the template are taken over into the document. It can also be useful when styles have been damaged (for instance, when heading numbers go missing).


However, we recommend you uncheck this option immediately after the styles have been updated. Sometimes styles are modified for a good reason, e.g. if you have changed the automatic numbering of clauses and subclauses. Then you do not want this option to reset all numbers to normal, sequential values.

Note for Word 2007/2010 users

In the long run, it will save you time to add the Templates icon to your Quick Access Toolbar. Once the icon resides in the toolbar, clicking on it brings up the Templates and Add-ins window.

template icon 'Templates' icon -
add this to your Quick Access Toolbar



To add the Templates icon to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  • Right-click on the arrow to the right of the toolbar
  • Select Customize Quick Access Toolbar > More Commands
  • Under Choose commands from: select All Commands
  • In the list of commands, select Templates and click Add, then OK.

The Template icon is now added to your Quick Access Toolbar.