Opening Documents in Print Layout View

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 18, 2022)

Max is having a problem with Word 2003. It seems that whenever he opens a document, it is in reading layout mode. He is forced to switch each document to Print Layout view, which is his preference.

There are two things you need to do to start fixing this problem. Follow these general steps to accomplish both tasks:

  1. Open your Normal.dot document. (Open it directly in Word, don't create a new document based on it.)
  2. Choose Options from the Tools menu to display the Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the General tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Allow Starting in Reading Layout check box.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Switch to Print Layout view at whatever zoom setting you want.
  8. Save Normal.dot.
  9. Exit and restart Word.

If the problem isn't fixed by the above steps, then it is possible that there is some AutoOpen macro that is kicking in and changing the viewing mode behind the scenes. Check to see if this is the case. You could also create your own AutoOpen and/or AutoNew macros to set the viewing mode to your preferences. If you decide to go this route, just make sure that the macros contain commands similar to the following:

With ActiveWindow.View
    .ReadingLayout = False
    .Type = wdPrintView
End With

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 (510) applies to Microsoft Word 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

Locking a Field

When you use fields in your document, you may want them to not change from a particular displayed result. You can lock ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Section Breaks, but Not Section Formatting

Word allows you to change the character of how your pages are designed by using multiple sections in a document. If you ...

Discover More

Slowing Down Mouse Selection

We've all experienced the problem: You start selecting a large block of text using the mouse, and before you know it the ...

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)

Creating Two Versions of the Same Document

You may often need to create two versions of the same document, one with everything and the other with a subset of what ...

Discover More

Moving Quickly Between Directories

Want an easy way to move between directories using the Open dialog box? With just a little bit of up-front typing, you ...

Discover More

Saving Portions of Files

Want to save snippets from a document into individual files? There are a couple of easy ways to achieve this goal, as ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 3 - 3?

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.

Videos
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.