Custom Menu Stays, but Options Disappear

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 14, 2019)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Long ago Norma created a "Macros" menu to which she added her most frequently used macros. Recently the menu emptied itself; her macros disappeared from it. (They still exist; Norma can get to them in the VBA editor, where they're attached to my Normal template.) She's tried adding them back to the menu, but every time she closes Word and restarts it, the menu is there, but the commands are gone again.

These sorts of problems can be difficult to track down. The first thing to check is if the problem is related, in some way, to document corruption. Specifically, it could be that your Normal.dot file is corrupted. Get out of Word and rename the file. Start Word and a new Normal.dot is automatically created. Stick a short, do-nothing macro in the template and then assign that macro to a custom menu. Get out of Word and back in again and see if the macro is still on the menu.

If it is still on the menu, then the problem has to do with the original Normal.dot file. The best solution is to rename it to some other name (like OldNormal.dot) and then transfer the macros from that file to the new Normal.dot file.

If the macro is not on the menu, then the problem probably isn't the Normal.dot template. Instead, you should take a look to see if there are some changed security settings on your system. Perhaps they were instituted by your company or they were installed automatically through some update to Windows or Word. If you can track down what setting changed, then you can modify the setting to allow your macros to appear on the menu.

It is also possible that some third-party add-in is causing a conflict or a recent update to an existing add-in is causing problems. Disable your add-ins one at a time and see if the problem disappears.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8611) 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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