Stubborn Thumbnails

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 10, 2013)

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. ...

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