Normal Template



Okay, I save in Templates Normal.dotm. Close Word, reboot my PC, reopen Word
and Normal is reset to default.

I open templates and sure enough there is Normal.dotm. I open it and my
revised normal comes up.

In the templates, if I include for "Word-Macro Enabled" there is another
Normal template. This template matches the one that Word keeps using as the

Every time I try to save changes to this template, even if I start in
another template and do a save as in the hope of replacing this template, I
get a message that says this template is already open and I cannot save
changes to it. WTF!

I cannot find where Word is referencing this template to switch it to
Normal.dotm as the default...


Stefan Blom

First of all, note that you cannot create a Normal template and replace the
one that Word has created; what you can do is modifying the existing one.

To modify normal.dotm, click the Office button, and then click Open (or
press Ctrl+O). Click the Trusted Templates icon in the "My Places" bar.
Select normal.dotm and click Open. Make the desired changes, and then save
and close the file. For more on modifying Normal, see

If you want to reset normal.dotm to its factory default settings, locate it
and rename it (with Word closed). When you restart Word, you'll get a fresh
copy of the template.

To find normal.dotm, you can use Windows search (be sure to search hidden
files and folders).


Thanks Stefan, but I don't understand the reference to "Trusted Template" or
"My Places".

When I do the open as you suggest the directory is C:/Users/my
In this directory are all of my customized templates, and there are plenty.
Included in the list is Normal.dotm and the other version "Microsoft Word
Macro Enabled Template".

Am I in the wrong place then?

Stefan Blom

If you are looking in the user templates folder, that should be the correct
folder for the Normal template. But note that there is only one Normal
template, called normal.dotm. (There might be one called NormalEmail.dotm if
you are also running Outlook.)

"My Places" is the bar with links/buttons on the left of the Open dialog
box, and the Trusted Templates button should be the first item. It provides
a shortcut to the user templates folder.


Thanks Stefan,

I think I am with you which means I am saving the right thing, but not
getting the right result.

I have saved over normal.dotm. If I open it from this folder my
customization is there. However, it is not the template used by my Word 2007
when I start it up?

There is a second normal file that has Normal with an exclamation mark in
the icon. This is also a NormalEmail with an exclamation mark. There is no
file extension on either of these two templates.

If I open this template it matches the default template of my Word. It will
not let me make changes to it. When I try it presents the error message I
referred to before.

I just tried it again:
Exit Word
Enter Word
(Changes are gone.)

Changes are there.

Therefore: Word is not using this Normal.dotm from my user Template file as
its default normal.

Does this make any sense to you?
Do you see above that I have made a mistake in the steps you are suggesting
in my open/change/save routine?

Thanks again for trying.

Stefan Blom

It will be easier to tell which icon represents the correct Normal file if
you first display filename extensions in Windows (in Windows XP, at least,
you can find the option by clicking Tools | Folder Options in Windows

However, in this case I believe the icon with the exclamation point is the
correct one, the one you should be opening.


Thanks Stefan,

Now we are cooking I think. Okay so the exclamation icon template is the
one we have to get access to, but now we have to figure out why I can't get
at it?

I am in Vista Ultimate, but you probably figured that out already.

When I change my view to details I do not get file extensions, but...
Under file types this normal! and normalEmail! are described as Microsoft
Office Word Macro-Enabled Templates. Everything else is a Microsoft Office
Word Template. What does this Macro-Enable label mean?

I do not see how I get the extensions to show in the Vista directory view as
none of the View options, including Details, seem to show the extensions.

Thanks again

Graham Mayor

A macro enabled template is one capable of storing macros - as in the normal
As Stefan has said, only Word can create a normal template.
As for displaying the filename extensions (always a good plan even if it
does screw up Microsoft's neat window display) see

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>
Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site

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Stefan Blom

And once filename extensions are showing, it might be a good idea to rename
the "duplicates," that is, files called "normal.dotx" or
""--unless of course Word 2003 is also installed on the same
machine, in which case would be needed.

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