Templates are great, but creating them is usually different for every program. In macOS, however, a little known macOS feature named “Stationary Pad” lets you turn any file into a template.

This is great for things like expense reports, documents that need to be formatted a certain way, or even images you need to routinely create in the same form factor. Just make a file you want to use as a template, and then set it up with Stationary Pad in macOS.

Setting a document up with Stationary Pad is easy. Browse to the file you’d like to use as a template in Finder. Right-click or Control-click the file, and then click the “Get Info” command.

In the Info window, expand the “General” section (if it isn’t already), and then enable the “Stationary Pad” option.

That’s it! This file is now a template.

Double-click it in the Finder and instead of opening the file, your Mac will create a copy using that file as a template. You’ll be able to see this in the title bar after you open the document:

Do what you need to do, and then save the file. You’ll find the copy in the same folder as your template.

Rename this to something more relevant and you’re done!

My thanks to Tim Hardwick at Mac Rumors for pointing this trick out. (Maybe it will finally stop me from entering and saving my personal information into the How-to Geek’s template for expense reports.)

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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