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Changing the Company Name

When you first install Word, you are asked for your name and the name of your organization (company, group, etc.). This information is stored in several places in your system. If you later change the name of your group, it can be no small task to make the changes necessary to change your company name.

Perhaps the easiest way is to simply uninstall Word and then install it again, from scratch. (You will see why this is easiest when you learn about the alternative shortly.) If you choose this method, make sure you save your data files (including any templates) before removing Word. When you reinstall, you can then provide the correct company name for this installation.

If you don't want to uninstall Word, then you can simply find and change all the places in which Word stores your company name. It is stored in more places than you might at first surmise.

The first place to look and make changes is in the Registry. You can do this by using the Registry Editor, but make sure you understand that changing the Registry improperly could make your system unstable or unusable. (Sound scary? It needn't be; simply use caution and common sense.) Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Run from the Start menu. Windows displays the Run dialog box.
  2. In the Open dialog box, type regedit. This is the name of the Registry editing program.
  3. Click on the OK button. The Registry Editor is started.
  4. Choose Find from the Edit menu, or simply press Ctrl+F. This displays the Find dialog box.
  5. In the Find What field, enter the name of your company; the one you want to change.
  6. Click on Find Next. The Registry is searched for the company name. When a match is found, it is displayed on the screen.
  7. Analyze what was located to determine if you want to change it. You can figure out what the occurrence is for by looking at the name of the Registry key in which the company name is stored. Your company name could have been stored in the Registry by any number of programs, including Microsoft Word.
  8. To make a change, double-click on the Registry value on the right side of the Registry Editor screen. This displays an editing dialog box for the value.
  9. Change the value, then click on OK.
  10. Press F3 to find the next occurrence of your company name.
  11. Repeat steps 7 through 10 until you have made all the changes desired.
  12. Close the Registry Editor.

With the Registry changed, you can jump into Word and make some final changes. You need to change Normal.dot from within Word, so start up the program and load the Normal.dot (or Normal.dotm) template. (Don't create a new document with the template; open the actual template file.)

Next, display the Properties dialog box for the open template. On the Summary tab of the dialog box the company name is visible within the Company field. Change the field contents, close the dialog box, and save the template file.

This, obviously, only changes the Normal.dot (or Normal.dotm) template, and thus any documents based on that template. If you want to change other templates, you must follow the same process and do it manually.

Now you should search through the AutoText entries and AutoCorrect entries maintained by Word, to see if there are any instances of your company name that need to be changed there. (How you change AutoText and AutoCorrect entries has been discussed in other issues of WordTips.)

When you are done, exit Word and restart your system. The company name should appear changed in all instances.

You can find more information on how to change the company name by visiting the following pages in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

Word 2000: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/233499
Word 2002: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290528
Word 2003: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/821550

These articles walk you through a Registry-changing process that is just slightly different from the steps outlined above.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1755) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!


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Comments for this tip:

K Parks    05 Aug 2015, 22:51
Thank you for this tip. Changing the company name in the registry is simple, per these instructions. (I would suggest always backing up the registry before making any changes though.) This tip saved me the tedious task of changing or removing the company name in a 110k word manuscript with multiple files.
W Wallace    07 Jun 2014, 04:48
I look forward to trying this tip, even if it is difficult to apply. My reason for saying is because my registered name disappeared from the opening screen and, despite reinstalling Word 2000, it has not reappeared. The latter is probably because at no point during the reinstallation was the name requested.

Any thoughts on the subject will be welcomed.

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