Where Are Word's Settings Stored?

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2014)


Have you ever looked at the different settings you can configure in the Options dialog box? There are well over a hundred different settings. If you count the secondary dialog boxes accessible from the Options dialog box, there are many, many more settings. This, of course, doesn't count the settings you may make on other dialog boxes in Word.

Suffice it to say that there are many, many different settings you can modify in order to configure the way that Word does its work. With so many settings, you might start to wonder where they are all stored.

There are three general places that Word stores most settings: documents, templates, and the Registry. Settings related to formatting, menus, and toolbars are stored in either documents or templates—most often in the Normal.dot template. The majority of settings that you make in the Options dialog box are stored in the Registry. The exact locations in the registry are too numerous to mention here, but there is a very helpful Knowledge Base article that lays out all the various locations:


It is important to remember that Word utilizes many tools that are not unique to Word, but are applicable to other programs in the Office suite. Tools such as AutoCorrect, the spell checker, and others have their own settings, and their own files and Registry keys where the settings are stored.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (3356) 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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What is five less than 8?

2013-10-19 10:50:22


Somewhere along the way I have changed the default settings for Word documents. How do I get them back? Margin and heading space are all wrong. Sometimes I have a page break and I don't want it. Just give me the old template I used to have.

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