The Case of the Disappearing Icons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 12, 2020)

Subscriber Dennis Contat wrote about a problem he was having with Word on his work computer and his home computer. He created some macros and assigned those macros to custom icons on a toolbar. He was able to do this on his home computer, and he was able to transfer the macros to his work computer by copying the Normal.dot file. But the custom toolbar buttons did not copy. The buttons were actually on the work computer, but they were blank, with no pictures on them. Further, he could not create any custom toolbar buttons on the work machine.

Word stores macros in template files; this is well known. If you stored your macros in the Normal.dot template, and then copied that template to another machine (running the same version of Word), then those macros would be available on that other machine.

Changes to toolbars are also stored in templates, but it appears that the custom icons that appear on the buttons are not stored in templates, however. They are stored (for some reason) in the Registry. Thus, they are not so easily transferred from one machine to the other.

The way to try to fix this problem is to copy the Normal.dot file to the work computer, then reset the toolbar completely. (This is done from the Toolbars tab of the Customize dialog box.) Then, try to add the three buttons from scratch and customize their icons. If this does not work, it could be because you don't have the proper permissions on your work computer to write to the Registry. If this is the case, a check with your company's IT department should determine how to fix the situation.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1341) 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Precisely Adjusting Tab Stops

When you need to be very specific about where a tab stop is located, you'll want to become familiar with the Tabs dialog ...

Discover More

Sorting by Fill Color

Sorting data in a worksheet is easy, unless you want to sort by the color used to fill a range of cells. There are ways ...

Discover More

Suppressing Zero Values in PivotTables

PivotTables are great for digesting and analyzing huge amounts of data. But what if you want part of that data excluded, ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Displaying Shortcut Keys in ScreenTips

ScreenTips can appear with or without shortcut keys displayed in them. Here's how to control whether they appear or not.

Discover More

Turning On Property Information Prompting

You may want to make sure that users of a document fill in the properties associated with a document. In most versions of ...

Discover More

Returning Word to Default Settings

Want to set everything back to a pristine state in Word? Doing so is more involved than you may believe.

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 nine more than 2?

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.