All of the main software packages have templates available for letters. They can often be downloaded for free, and there are usually other sources that may have to be paid for either as a one off payment, or as part of a subscription. Check out the free versions first as thay can be very good and may provide all that is needed.

Letter templates can be for business use to provide a template for various professional looking business needs such as general business correspondence, job applications, resignations, references, sales and promotions, follow-up letters, and many others.

Designs for letter templates can range from formal and professional, to modern, informal, simple, traditional, seasonal, minimalist, sector or department specific, all with various colour themes and design elements such as shapes and icons.

Below are some of the most popular software packages for creating and editing letters, with sources for letter templates and how to get started using them.

Letter Templates for Microsoft Word

A good place to start for free Word Letter Templates is the main Office Templates website at Office Templates. Browse to the Letters category and select the template that fits your requirements. Click on Download and save the template, which should have the .dotx file extension, to a suitable place on the hard drive. Renaming the template to something relevant might be a good idea at this point.

Start MS Word to open the main browser window and select the Open icon at the bottom left. If a Word Document is already open then go to the File menu and select New from Template to open the browser and go from there.

Browse to the folder location where the letter template is stored and select it. Either double click it or select the Open button to open the template. The letter template is now open in Word ready for editing, but it will still be the .dotx template file, so pressing save at this point or after making changes will over-write the template. That's Ok if the changes are to be made permanent to the template, but not if it needs to be used in the original form multiple times. To ensure the original template is not changed then simply go to the File menu and choose Save As to save the letter to a suitable folder with a relevant file name and the .dotx file extension. Normal editing can now go ahead and the save button pressed, or autosave enabled, until it's ready for use.

Letter Templates for OpenOffice Writer

The main OpenOffice Templates repository at OpenOffice Templates has plenty of free templates available, though not categorised for letters. To find the letter templates enter 'letter' in the search box to filter the templates for letters, then select Writer in the Filter by Application options on the left. There are also filter options for Business, Education and Private.

Choose a suitable template and click on it to get more details and the option to Download. Selecting the Download button will open a new window and the download screen. Save the template in a suitable folder, with the file extension .ott, and change the name if required to something more meaningful. If the template is saved to the default Templates directory (check the preferences for this) then it will appear in the main starting window under templates.

From the OpenOffice main starting window click on the Open button, or select Open from the File menu at the top. This will open a file browser window, and the template can be selected from the location that it was saved. Once open in Writer it will have the default name "Untitled 1". Selecting the save buttin, or Save from the File menu, will open the Save As dialogue box which will allow the document to be saved with a suitable file name in the choosen folder, with the .odt file extension automatically added so there is no risk if over writing the original template.

Letter Templates for OneDrive Word

The online version of Word available from Microsoft's OneDrive (OneDrive Word) has templates built in that include templates for many letters. From the main page of Word on OneDrive select the More templates link and then search for "letter". Select the required letter template and then either Download to the hard drive or Edit in Browser to open it directly in Word online to start editing. It will be automatically saved as a Document in the OneDrive file manager.

Letter Templates for Google Docs

Google Docs has a built in Template gallery that appears on the main starting page. In that gallery there are some limited Letter Templates that can be selected and edited directly. Google Docs will also allow the use of templates designed for MS Word but it requires another step to open them.

A template can be opened or imported when a Google Document is open, so start by selecting the Blank template from the gallery or opening an existing doc.

From the open document use the menu bar at the top to select File... Open and then select the Upload tab. Either "Select a file from your device" or drag and drop to open a previously saved Word template in Google Docs. The newly opened template will be automatically saved with its file name, which can be changed either from within the document editor or Google Drive. Unfortunately there may be some template features that don't import and may be lost, such as graphic elements.

Letter Templates for iCloud Pages

iCloud Pages has a limited number of templates built in which include Letter Templates. From the main Pages starting page (iCloud Pages) select the small plus icon in the top bar to "Create a new Pages document". This open in a new window the Choose a Template with Letters as one of the main categories. Simply double click to open one of the templates and start editing. It will be automatically saved with the template name in the drive and can be renamed as required.

As with Google Docs it is possible to open and use templates saved from MS Word. From the main iCloud Pages window select the Upload icon in the top bar, browse to the saved MS Word template and select to import into iCloud Pages. The template import is more reliable than with Google Docs and retains the formatting better.

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