Opening Documents in Print Layout View

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated June 18, 2022)
This tip applies to Word 2003


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. ...

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