Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Default Units that Change.

Default Units that Change

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 26, 2018)

Martyn likes to use millimeters as his default measurement unit in Word. So, he displays the General tab of the Options dialog box and sets the default units according to his preference. The problem is, a few days later those default units can change to something else, such as points. Martyn wonders why this occurs and how he can make his preference stick.

There are a couple of things that can be tried. First, open the Normal.dot template. (Open the template directly, using the Open dialog box.) With the template open, set the default measurement unit and then save the template. Then close and restart Word. Unless you later change the Normal.dot template, the default measurement units should remain the same for all your new documents.

This brings up the second possible problem area—working with documents configured differently. It seems that the default measurement units are stored on a document-by-document basis. This means that if you have any documents configured to use a different default measurement unit or if you open a document sent to you by someone else and they don't use the same measurement unit as you, then you can find that you are all of a sudden working with different units.

The solution to this problem is to create an AutoOpen macro that sets your default measurement units. Something as simple as this could work:

Sub AutoOpen()
    Options.MeasurementUnit = wdMillimeters
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (429) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Default Units that Change.

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

Selecting Text in Linked Text Boxes

Text boxes are often used as design elements in a document layout. If you have linked text boxes, you may have noticed ...

Discover More

Extracting First and Last Words

When working with text phrases stored in cells, it might be helpful to be able to extract words from the phrase. In this ...

Discover More

Can Only Print to Default Printer

It is helpful to be able to print out worksheets when you need to share them with others. It is even more helpful if you ...

Discover More

Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!

More WordTips (menu)

Hiding and Displaying Hidden Text

You can easily hide text by simply changing the attributes associated with the text. Once that is done, you can turn the ...

Discover More

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

Notification when Caps Lock is Active

You're typing along, look up at your screen, and notice that everything is in ALL CAPS. Drat! You activated the Caps Lock ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 three less than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.