Word’s Default: Make It Permanent or Temporary

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. Every now and then I make a temporary change in Word’s default—adding a new icon to my toolbar, for example. When I close Word and then open it the next time, I discover that my intended temporary change has become permanent and I have to go back and remove it. Is there a way to get Word to stop second-guessing me?

A. There is. But I should add that Word is not second-guessing you. You just failed to give it the right instructions.


Let me explain: Anytime you make a configuration change in Word—adding an icon to your toolbar or changing the default font or tab stops—those changes are stored in a template called Normal.dot . This template governs the format of all new documents.

Word is automatically defaulted to save any changes in Normal.dot —unless you tell it otherwise. And by “otherwise” I mean you can change the automatic Word default so it will ask you when you’re closing Word after making a change whether to save the revised Normal.dot . Obviously, you have not yet set that default to where Word asks you that question.

To do that, take these steps: Open Tools, Options and click on the Save tab. Be sure there is a check in the box next to Prompt to save Normal template and click on OK.

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