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20 Best Free Microsoft Word Outline Templates to Download 2023

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Ask any teacher, and they'll have a lot to say about the importance of creating an outline before starting an essay. You can create one quickly with an outline template for Microsoft Word.

Design Brief, a premium outline template from Envato ElementsDesign Brief, a premium outline template from Envato ElementsDesign Brief, a premium outline template from Envato Elements

Design Brief, a premium outline template from Envato Elements

Project outlines help you plan a project with a group of people and ensure everyone is on the same page. An outline helps you list facts, organize ideas, and lay them down sequentially to create a flow. This simple tool also plays a big part in project planning.

These briefs are essential company documents. And like any company document, the design element is vital as it represents your business.

We'll start with the best premium outline template Word designs from Envato Elements. The Elements library has thousands of top options for MS Word that you can download today. Then, we’ll look at 20 outline samples free from around the web. 

Find the Best Outline Template Word on Envato Elements for 2023 (Unlimited Use)

Envato Elements is an excellent starting point if you're looking for premium Microsoft Word templates or specifically brief and outline templates. Access to a digital creative library enables you to effortlessly take all your creative projects to new heights. An Envato Elements membership is a company-wide investment!

Unlock unlimited access to an all-you-can-download digital library with millions of premium creative files—all for a low monthly fee.

Envato Elements' selection of premium brief templates in MS WordEnvato Elements' selection of premium brief templates in MS WordEnvato Elements' selection of premium brief templates in MS Word

Envato Elements' selection of premium brief templates in MS Word

Get your hands on creative assets like:

  • print, presentation, graphics, and web templates,
  • royalty-free photos, music, audio,  and video files
  • fonts, 3D objects, and so much more.

It’s easy to see that Envato Elements is your top source for outline template download options for 2023!

5 Best Premium Outline Template Word for 2023 (From Envato Elements)

Here are five of the best outline templates in Word from Envato Elements that you can download now:

Web Questionnaire Project Outline Template Microsoft WordWeb Questionnaire Project Outline Template Microsoft WordWeb Questionnaire Project Outline Template Microsoft Word

Use this template to create a strong, persuasive, and attractive document for web development planning meetings with clients. This document helps you walk through the steps needed to manage the web project. The template comes with 24 professional pages that are easy to edit and use.

Brief Best Outline Template WordBrief Best Outline Template WordBrief Best Outline Template Word

Provide a project outline with this template. List all necessary details like brief, objectives, outcomes, budget, team members, and strategy. This is a 16-page brochure template that'll help you manage your project in style.

Design Brief - Project Outline Template Microsoft WordDesign Brief - Project Outline Template Microsoft WordDesign Brief - Project Outline Template Microsoft Word

Create a design project brief template to help you outline all requirements, goals, resources, and expectations. Starting your project with this document ensures everyone is on the same page and knows what the task entails. This template is fully customizable and easy to use.

4. Event Proposal Template

Event proposal template project outline template WordEvent proposal template project outline template WordEvent proposal template project outline template Word

Have you got an event coming up? You can use this file, similar to an outline template download design. Use the pages as outline templates for the event milestones. It's easy to edit and is sure to help you win your next event proposal.

5. Resume Word

Resume outline template downloadResume outline template downloadResume outline template download

In many ways, a resume is one of the best examples of outline document templates. Think about it: your resume is an outline of your experience. Try out this minimal and stylish outline template Word option to describe your career path.

20 Top Free MS Word Outline Template Examples to Download (2023)

Are you vague about what to expect from premium creative files? Explore Envato's unique monthly premium freebies. It's the best way to try out premium files at no cost to you. 

Each month Envato Elements offers a different selection of free files for you to try.Each month Envato Elements offers a different selection of free files for you to try.Each month Envato Elements offers a different selection of free files for you to try.

Each month Envato Elements offers a different selection of free files for you to try.

A Microsoft Word template may not be in among this month's free collection. But it's always a good idea to check what's on offer every month as it keeps changing. You may be in luck and find a file you'd like to use.

Here's the offer: 

  • Envato Elements provides 12 free professional creative assets (videos, audio, photos, 3D object, templates, fonts, etc.) every month. Create a free account on Envato Elements to download this month's freebies. 

Let's look at 20 free Microsoft Word outline templates available to download from the internet: 

Here's a free template from Microsoft Office. There's no design element to this template. It focuses on the format. 

This sample outline shows how to list down points before starting on a short essay. It'll help you gather your thoughts and keep the essay on point.

Free Research Outline TemplateFree Research Outline TemplateFree Research Outline Template

Break your research paper into introductory, first, second, and conclusion paragraphs. And plan what you need to address in each of these paragraphs with this template. 

This template walks you through how to create an artist's biography. The first word of the title is in orange and uses a different font than the second word. There's a border on the left in brown and orange.

This template comes with a simple design. There's a gray border on the top of the document with white fonts. 

A speech outline helps you gather your points and arrange them to create an interesting narrative. This template assists you with that.

This is a clean template with a border on the left for the title of the document. There are four main sections: introduction, body, conclusion, and references.

Purple Free Microsoft Word Outline Template DownloadPurple Free Microsoft Word Outline Template DownloadPurple Free Microsoft Word Outline Template Download

This template looks like a form with five sections. It comes in purple. 

This template has a clean and minimalistic design. It comes with a black border on the top and a line on the left with numbers on it. These numbers show the sections.

This marketing outline template comes broken up with sections that look like tables. Each main section has a black border and white fonts.

This is a one-page document template. It comes with a border all around it and five sections.

This one-page document is broken down into sections like:

  • introduction
  • main idea
  • body paragraph
Free Book Review Sample OutlineFree Book Review Sample OutlineFree Book Review Sample Outline

This sample review outline comes with questions for you to answer and address while doing your book review.

A speech outline helps you lay out all your ideas or points on a single sheet. Move these points accordingly to create a good flow in your speech. 

This template document addresses key concerns like status, accomplishments, problems, changes, and other comments.

This sample document gives you a good idea of how to come up with a biography write-up. Create an outline like this before starting.

This template has a simple design. List the event name, date, location, time, number of guests, the event's purpose, contact details, and plan. It works as a single sheet of paper that'll keep everyone well informed on the event day.

Free Wedding Ceremony Structure Outline TemplateFree Wedding Ceremony Structure Outline TemplateFree Wedding Ceremony Structure Outline Template

Plan out your wedding ceremony with a clean template with loads of tables. Provide a copy of the structural outline to everyone involved in running the event.

Here's a simple form to help you ask the right questions and gather the information you need to write a biography.

List down all relevant information on this news report outline. Once it's all on a single page, you're ready to write your report.

How to Customize Your Outline Template Word Design

We’ve looked at the best premium and free outline templates for Microsoft Word. These help you get started creating your very own outlines in MS Word.

When you choose a premium template, the process is amazingly easy. You can customize a Word outline in just five quick steps!

The tips in this section were written using macOS and Office 365. If you’ve got different a operating system or a different version of PowerPoint, your steps may be slightly different.
project brief outline templatesproject brief outline templatesproject brief outline templates
Download the premium Project Brief template from Envato Elements today!

To learn how, let’s use the premium Project Brief | MS Word & InDesign template from Envato Elements. It’s a powerful template with stylish designs that are easy to work with. Download it today to follow along.

Let's get started:

1. Launch the Template in Word

Outline templates like this one come in many file formats. For example, this premium design includes options for Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign. Your first step is to launch your outline template in MS Word.

Open outline template WordOpen outline template WordOpen outline template Word
Launch the .docx file to open your premium outline templates in Word.

When you download an Envato Elements template, open the folder or .zip file. Inside, you’ll see subfolders. In this case, the one you need is labeled 02 - Microsoft Word. Go into this folder and look for the .docx format file. Double-click on it, and Microsoft Word opens.

That’s it! You’re ready to start working with your template. 

2. Customize Text

The star of any outline document template is the text inside. As you can see, premium templates have text already built in. The words you see are placeholder content. Your task is to replace this with your own words.

Customize text outline templatesCustomize text outline templatesCustomize text outline templates
In a premium template, select the contents of a text box and type in your own words.

To get started, click into any of the text boxes on the Word outline templates. Select the contents inside, and then begin typing. The existing words vanish, replaced with your own. Repeat throughout Word, adding in the key details of your 2023 outline brief.

3. Edit Font Styles

With custom text added, you’re not finished customizing. Font styles form a huge part of your outline design, and you can change them easily. Begin by selecting some words that you see on your screen.

Then, navigate to the Home tab on Word’s ribbon. In the Font group, you can make an array of changes. For example, you can change the font size and style using the drop-down menus. Or, you can add effects like underlines and italics using the buttons.

Edit fonts outline template downloadEdit fonts outline template downloadEdit fonts outline template download
Edit fonts to style text in your outline document template premium.

Need cool custom fonts for your MS Word outlines? Envato Elements has you covered. As a subscriber, you've got unlimited access to thousands of custom fonts. Explore the vast library and download your favorites today. 

4. Add Unique Colors

Color is a powerful tool to use in Microsoft Word outlines. It adds design flair, and it helps you call attention to key points in your outline. And in MS Word, it’s easy to change colors when you work with a premium template like this.

To change the color of an object, click on a shape. You’ll see a new menu appear on the ribbon: Shape Format. Click it, and on the left, choose the Shape Fill drop-down.

Custom color outline templatesCustom color outline templatesCustom color outline templates
Use the Shape Fill menu to edit shape colors in your purchased outline template download from Envato Elements.

A color chooser menu launches. Click on any of the thumbnails and watch as your selected color applies to the shape that you’ve chosen. 

5. Save a Shareable Outline

When you’ve finished building your Microsoft Word outline, it’s time to share it with the world. But remember, not everyone has MS Word installed on their computers.

That’s why I like to share Word briefs in PDF format. These are widely shareable and readable anywhere - even on mobile devices!

PDF outline templatesPDF outline templatesPDF outline templates
When you export premium outline templates in PDF format, you're ready to share them with the world.

To save a PDF copy of your outline, go to File > Save As. Give your design a name, and then open the File Format drop-down menu. From the list of options, choose PDF. Finally, click Save.

Your Word outline templates are saved and ready to share! As you can see, it’s a breeze to build your own outline brief in Word. That’s all thanks to premium templates from Envato Elements. 

5 Quick Tips To Make Great Project Outlines in Word 2023

Here are some quick tips to get you on track to create an impressive and functional project outline for your upcoming project:

1. Pick Premium Over Free

Project Brief, a clean, modern, and simple template from Envato ElementsProject Brief, a clean, modern, and simple template from Envato ElementsProject Brief, a clean, modern, and simple template from Envato Elements

Project Brief Template, a clean, modern, and simple premium template from Envato Elements

A document looks plain and boring without design elements. It's just a bunch of words on a piece of paper with nothing inviting or appealing about it. A premium outline template for Microsoft Word from Envato Elements turns a bland outline into an impressive professional document.

2. Incorporate Your Brand Identity

Once you've picked your template, it's time to customize it. Start by changing colors and fonts according to your brand identity. Include your logo and company details. This document should look like it's a professional document from your company. Save this version for all future projects.

3. Have a Simple But Clear Structure

The content structure of this document is vital. Divide it into sections so it's easy to read and follow. Think of all possible details you and all other stakeholders need to know and ensure it's all present in this document.

Brief Template, a well structured outline templates from Envato ElementsBrief Template, a well structured outline templates from Envato ElementsBrief Template, a well structured outline templates from Envato Elements

Brief Template, premium well-structured outline templates from Envato Elements

The idea is that this document serves as a planning document to ensure everyone is on the same page. So, there shouldn't be any missing pieces to the puzzle. And no one should be lost reading it because of a poor structure.

4. Keep It Minimal

Brief and Scribbles, a minimalistic outline template from Envato ElementsBrief and Scribbles, a minimalistic outline template from Envato ElementsBrief and Scribbles, a minimalistic outline template from Envato Elements

Brief and Scribbles, a premium minimalistic outline template from Envato Elements

It's best not to add too much text or sections to a single page. Write in short active sentences and use bullet points, so it's easy to read and follow. Several clean pages win over a single cluttered page.

5. Print and Distribute 

There are two ways to use an outline document:

  1. blank form like document to be filled out during a planning meeting,
  2. a completed document with all finalized details that's distributed to all stakeholders

Depending on the use of the document, pick the kind of paper and print quality needed. For example, an outline form needs to be easy to write on. In comparison, a completed outline document can have higher quality gloss paper that's hard to write on.

We’ve looked at amazing outline document template designs. And we learned how to customize in five easy steps.

But to ensure a great impression, it pays to embrace the latest design trends. These styles are in fashion for 2023, with good reason. Let's look at five of the major trends in style now: 

1. Use Sharp Contrasts

High-contrast designs help your outline document template stand out. They help you call attention to specific details in your brief documents in Word. 

Letterhead outline template WordLetterhead outline template WordLetterhead outline template Word
Adapt this premium high-contrast premium Word template into a stunning, sleek outline.

Sharp contrasts are trending in 2023 for this reason. They’ve replaced flat, dull designs with modern, elegant styles. They’re worth embracing to make a stylish first impression.

2. Link Spreadsheets for Data Reference

Messy, cluttered layouts have never been in style. But that doesn’t mean you've got to sacrifice details in the interest of design. Using Word, you can link to data with embedded Excel spreadsheets.

This way, you don’t have to fill up Word documents with data. Instead, you can link to detailed data in Excel while keeping your Word outlines neat and tidy. It’s the perfect trending way to share your data in 2023. 

Learn how with our full tutorial:

3. Try Custom Font Designs

Custom fonts help your outline template Word look its best. These are a hallmark of premium templates. Creative experts like to use fun font styles that move beyond the normal, basic designs that you’ll find in free templates.

Proposal outline document templateProposal outline document templateProposal outline document template
The Proposal Template 003 is a powerful premium outline template Word where you can use custom fonts.

It’s easy to forget that fonts form a major part of your style aesthetic. Thanks to trendy font styles, you can transform the text into a style element of its own. It’s essential in 2023 to wow any reader. 

4. Use Collaboration With Fillable Outlines

When you work with outline templates, don’t think of it as a solo process. In 2023, you can collaborate with others to build a Word outline together.

One way to do this is with a fillable form design in MS Word. This way, others can input their own information right onto your outline. It’s a top way to work together across the globe. Through teamwork, you can build briefs and outlines that fully capture the scope of your projects. 

For a full tutorial, click here:

5. Stand Out With Bold Color Palettes

Bland, basic colors won’t impress many readers in 2023. You need to be bold! This extends to brief and outline templates for Microsoft Word. When you choose a colorful style, you take a big step towards success.

Proposal outline templatesProposal outline templatesProposal outline templates
Outline your proposals with this premium outline template Word design for 2023.

Colors boost visual interest. Plus, you can customize them to match your branding and personal style! By choosing a colorful premium template from Envato Elements, you’ll enjoy having the tough design work done for you. 

Discover More Top Microsoft Word Template Designs

Are you looking for other Microsoft Word business document templates? There are heaps of free and premium options on the internet for you to browse and use. Here are three examples for you to start with:

Learn More About Making Great Word Documents in 2023

Are you new to Microsoft Word? Pin this Beginner's Tutorial Guide to MS Word on your browser. This guide is a compilation of bite-sized Microsoft Word how-to tutorials. 

A growing compilation like this serves as a quick reference when you've got various MS Word-related questions. It saves you from getting into a distracting online search. Here are three examples of tutorials from this guide:

Get a Premium Outline Template Word Today!

There are loads of free outline sample documents online for anyone to use. But in most cases, their focus is the questions you need to ask to create an outline. This works well for those who need this.

But suppose you're looking for a template to design a creative and impressive project outline or brief document. In that case, the free samples online won't work well for you. Download a premium brief and outline Microsoft Word template from Envato Elements. As an Envato Elements subscriber, you'll unlock access to millions of premium assets, including professional MS Word templates.

Get your premium MS Word outline template from Envato Elements today. Subscribe and download one now!

Editorial Note: This post has been updated with contributions from Andrew Childress. Andrew is a freelance instructor for Envato Tuts+.

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