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Continually Saving Normal.dot

Barbara noticed a strange thing with Word--it was saving her Normal.dot file every time she exited the program. The only thing she could think of that might have caused this behavior is that she installed WinFax, which added an icon to the task bar.

The Normal.dot template is only saved when exiting if something within the template has changed. This change could be done either overtly by you, or covertly by an add-on to Word. The change could be virtually anything, such as a change to a style, menu, or toolbar. Third-party applications like WinFax often use VBA to implement various icons and menu options. If you did not notice this behavior before installing WinFax, then chances are good that WinFax is the problem here.

The first step is to visit the WinFax site and see if there is an upgrade that will fix the behavior. If so, download it and install it on your system. It is also possible that some other program, which works fine with Word on its own, is having problems with WinFax and manifesting the problem within Word. For instance, Norton AntiVirus and SystemWorks have problems working with some versions of WinFax and Word. The solution is to check these other programs and see if there is some update to them that may solve the problem.

If neither of these suggestions rectify the problem, you can use a macro to fool Word into thinking that Normal.dot has already been saved. For instance, you can place the following macros in Normal.dot. They will mark the template as saved and preclude the message in the future:

Sub AutoClose()
    NormalTemplate.Saved = True
End Sub
Sub FileExit
    NormalTemplate.Saved = True
End Sub

The risk, of course, is that you really will make a change to the Normal.dot and lose it because you didn't save. You can mitigate that problem by simply making sure you explicitly save Normal.dot if you make any changes.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1593) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Related Tips:

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!


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Comments for this tip:

Mel    16 Jul 2012, 16:56
This works, with one exception - when macros are not allowed to run. I've been looking for a registry or policy-based solution that does exactly the same thing without requiring that we give users permissions to run macros.

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