A template is a form, mold, or pattern used as a guide to making something. Here are some examples:
- A ruler is a template when used to draw a straight line.
- A document in which the standard opening and closing parts are already filled in is a template that you can copy and then fill in the variable parts.
- An overlay that you put on your computer keyboard telling you special key combinations for a particular application is a template for selecting the right keys to press.
- Flowcharting templates (not used much now) help programmers draw flowcharts or logic sequences in preparation for writing the code.
- In programming, a template is a generic class or other unit of source code that can be used as the basis for unique units of code. In C++, an object-oriented computing language, there are Standard Template Libraries from which programmers can choose individual template classes to modify. The Microsoft Foundation Class Library (MFCL) is an example.