Template-directed strategy has become one of the most popular methods for the fabrication of one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures with uniform size and controllable physical dimensions in recent years. This Review article describes the recent progress in the synthesis of 1D inorganic nanostructures by using suitable templates. A brief survey on the templating method based on the organic templates and porous membrane is firstly given. Then, the article is focused on recent emerging synthetic strategies by templating against the pre-existing 1D nanostructures using different physical and chemical transformation techniques, including epitaxial growth, nonepitaxial growth, direct chemical transformation, solid-state interfacial diffusion reaction, and so on. The important reactivity role of the 1D nanostructures will be emphasized in such transformation process. Finally, we conclude this paper with some perspectives and outlook on this research topic.