Can't Save a Macro

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 4, 2018)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


A WordTips reader once complained that he could not save his macros because Word wouldn't save Normal.dot when he exited the program. Instead, he received an error message indicating that the disk was full. (In this case, the disk really was not full.)

There are many potential causes for this problem. First, if Word is being used in a networked environment, the Normal.dot file could be common to all users on the network. If this is the case, then changes cannot be saved to Normal.dot when other people are accessing it. For instance, if User A and User B are using Word, both are actually accessing the same Normal.dot file. When User A exits the program, his changes cannot be written to Normal.dot until User B also exits the program. In this situation, User A would be better advised to wait until after hours before trying to make updates to Normal.dot.

Another possible cause is that Normal.dot is corrupted in some way. The way to test for this is to exit Word and rename Normal.dot to some other name, such as OldNormal.dot. Then restart Word, which results in a brand new Normal.dot being created. If macros can be created and subsequently saved, then you have a good indicator that the original Normal.dot (now OldNormal.dot) was corrupted.

It could also be that there is an error in the macro you are trying to save. The solution to this is to pull up the VBA Editor and compile the macro. If there is an error, you are notified and can correct it. You may then be able to exit Word and save the macro.

Finally, you cannot save Normal.dot when you have multiple instances of Word running on the same machine. Each instance accesses Normal.dot, and changes can only be saved when the last instance of Word is closed.

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 (747) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 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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