Getting Rid of Persistent Templates

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 5, 2012)

Kay Howard, a medical transcriptionist, has problem with Word. Ever since she had a software package installed on her system and then uninstalled, she is seeing a template, geta.dot, appear in Word. The template is there as a global template, and she cannot locate it so that she can delete it completely. If she opens the VBA Editor, there is a project named "eTA (Geta)" shown in the project window, but she cannot delete it.

The first course of action, which Kay has already done unsuccessfully, is to use Windows' Search function to look for geta.dot on the hard drive. When using the Search function, also make sure that you configure the function to search in hidden folders, and that you search all drives accessible on your system. If any instances of the file are located, they should be deleted. Likewise, it is beneficial to search through the Registry to find any references to the template and delete them. (Normal Registry-editing precautions should be taken.)

It is possible, of course, that there is no actual geta.dot file on the hard drive--the clue is that in the VBA Editor's project window the project goes by another name: eTA. Repeat the searching of both the hard drives and the Registry, this time looking for any files or references containing "eta". Analyze them carefully and either delete them or rename them, as appropriate. (If you rename them and later realize you've made a mistake, it is a simple task to change their names back again.)

It is possible that there are references to the geta.dot template in some of the macros in VBA. In Word, press Alt+F11 to start the VBA Editor. In the project window, click Normal. Then choose Tools | References to display all the references used in the Normal.dot template. Among the checked options in the references, look for any to geta or geta.dot. If you find one, clear the check box and make note--at the bottom of the dialog box--of the full path for the referenced file. (You can use this information to later track down and delete the file.)

If you look at the project window you may see other projects, as well. Repeat the same process of looking for references used by each of the other projects. (You won't be able to do this with locked projects, such as the "eTA (Geta)" project, but you should with any others.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (207) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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