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Automatically Saving Changes to Defaults

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Automatically Saving Changes to Defaults.

Many configuration changes that you make to Word are stored in a special template called Normal.dot. This template is used to help create new, blank documents and to define some of the system-wide settings used by Word. As you make changes to these settings, Word marks Normal.dot as "dirty" so that it will be saved when you exit the program.

By default, Word saves Normal.dot without any notification to you. However, you may want notification. Why? In case there were some changes done without your explicit action—for instance, by running a macro. If you want Word to notify you when it is about to save Normal.dot, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Save tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Prompt to Save Normal Template check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1464) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Automatically Saving Changes to Defaults.

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Comments for this tip:

Gregory    22 Apr 2015, 10:53
this tip is inaccurate! Word tries to save normal.dot template whatever you do, even if you have not touched any defaults at all. This is a very annoying behavior and I have found no way of eliminating it. Perhaps you can help?
I am using word 2010.
thank you

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