Microsoft Word Macro-Enabled Document Template
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What is a DOTM file?
DOTM files are similar to .DOTX files, which are also created by Word. They are both used to store templates that are useful for creating multiple documents with the same baseline formatting. However, DOTM files are used to save macros, which are a series of commands that are grouped together as a single command to automatically complete a task. They allow you to save time on operations that you repetitively perform such as data entry or computation.
You can record macros in Word that can be replayed to complete a task and assign them to a button in Word or keystroke, which allows you to conveniently run the series of steps. To record a macro, select View → Macros → Record Macro.
NOTE: DOTM files were introduced with the release of Microsoft Office 2007.
How to open a DOTM file
You can open DOTM files with Microsoft Word (2007 or later) in Windows and macOS. Word is the best option for opening DOTM files because it fully supports the formatting of Word templates and the macros embedded in them.
You can also open DOTM files with other word processors but some of the formatting of the original documents and macros may be lost. Alternative word processors that support DOTM files include Apache OpenOffice Writer (multiplatform), Kingsoft Writer (multiplatform), and Apple Pages (Mac). If you are a Mac user simply looking to view a DOTM file, you can use Apple Preview, which comes bundled with macOS or upload it to Google Drive, which is a free cloud storage service.
You can also upload DOTM files to Google Docs online to open, edit, and convert the templates. Keep in mind that Docs does not support macros.
How to convert a DOTM file
Several word processing applications, including Microsoft Word and LibreOffice Writer, can convert DOTM files to other formats.
For example, select File → Save As in the Windows and Mac versions of Microsoft Word to convert DOTM files to one of the following formats:
- .DOCX - Microsoft Word Document
- .DOCM - Microsoft Word Macro-enabled Document
- .DOC - Microsoft Word Document (Legacy)
- .DOTX - Microsoft Word Template
- .DOT - Microsoft Word Document Template (Legacy)
- .ODT - OpenDocument Text Document
- .PDF - Portable Document Format
- .RTF - Rich Text Format
- .TXT - Plain Text
- .HTM, .HTML - HTML Webpage
- .XML - Extensible Markup Language
- .MHT, .MHTML - MIME HTML Archive
- .XPS - XML Paper Specification (Windows only)
While DOTM files are typically legitimate Microsoft Word macro-enabled templates, they may also be used to distribute and execute malware attacks on victims' computers via emails or website downloads. To protect against malicious DOTM attacks, never open or enable macros within a DOTM file unless you can verify its legitimacy and source.