Stubborn Thumbnails

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 10, 2013)

3

Alan is having a problem with the way that Word starts on his system. Every time he opens a document, the page thumbnails show up at the left side of the window. He keeps closing the area (View | Thumbnails), but the area still shows up the next time he opens a document.

Because this problem is occurring on all the documents you open, it is probably related to something in the Normal.dot template, which is the default template for Word. Unfortunately (as Alan is finding out), simply turning off the thumbnails is not enough to trigger the saving of the template; there needs to be some other change done in order to make the save. With that in mind, you could follow these steps:

  1. Start Word. You should have a blank document on the screen.
  2. Close Thumbnails from the View menu in order to close the thumbnails area.
  3. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  4. Make sure the View tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The View tab of the Options dialog box.

  6. Change the status of the Startup Task Pane check box. (This action is enough to trigger the save; you don't really care about the setting at this point, but you need to make the change to get the desired action.)
  7. Click OK. The Options dialog box goes away.
  8. Hold down the Shift key as you click on the File menu and choose Save All.
  9. Click Cancel when you are asked if you want to save the original, blank document.
  10. Click Yes when you are asked if you want to save the Normal.dot template. (This is what you really wanted to do all along.)
  11. Repeat steps 3 through 6, if desired, to set the Startup Task Pane check box to how you want it.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (349) applies to Microsoft Word 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting the Name of the Parent Workbook

If you need to insert into a cell the name of the workbook in which a worksheet is contained, you can use the CELL function. ...

Discover More

Deleting a Header

Each new Excel worksheet contains a page header, by default. Follow this tip to get rid of headers you don't need.

Discover More

Creating Usable Figure Captions

Many people add both images and figure captions within text boxes so they can be easily positioned within a document. Doing ...

Discover More

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!

More WordTips (menu)

Viewing Multiple Pages

If you have a large monitor, you can view more than one page at a time in Word. This is very handy when you want to ...

Discover More

Selecting Tabs in Dialog Boxes

Dialog boxes normally present information in a series of tabs. If you want to move from tab to tab without taking your hands ...

Discover More

Changing Above-the-Line Fonts

Word maintains a list of the fonts most recently used in the program. You can't modify the list, but you can turn it on and ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2017-02-04 19:16:09

Yvo G Dries-Meeus

M.A.Abril's solution was the only instruction capable of fixing this for me on Word 2003 v11 ! Many many thanks !!


2014-11-25 04:22:18

Mahesh

Thanks a lot for great relief from your smart solution


2013-12-13 13:29:42

M.A. Abril

For anyone who is having this problem with Word 2007, I managed to fix it in this way:

1. Close all open documents, and then open a new Word document.
2. Close the page thumbnails sidebar.
3. On the ribbon, go to the View tab and click Web Layout.
4. Save the document on your desktop, and close Microsoft Word.
5. Open the document again by double-clicking it on your desktop.
6. On the View tab, click "Print Layout."
7. Close the document.
8. It should now be fixed. You can delete the document that you created.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.