Word normal.dotm keeps resetting

Hi,

We have some macros for printing saved in the normal.dotm file in %appdata%\Microsoft\Templates. Recently (last couple of weeks) I've had users tell me that the macros will work a couple of times throughout a day for example and then suddenly on another document will give the error the macro's cannot be found or have been disabled. Replacing the normal.dotm with the correct file works. 

Why would the normal.dotm file keep resetting/creating a new version?

A better place to store macros that you want to be able to use with all documents is in a macro enabled template that you save in the Word\STARTUP folder.

The Normal.dotm template can easily be damaged and result in the issues that you are having.

Hope this helps,
Doug Robbins - MVP Office Apps & Services (Word)
dougrobbinsmvp@gmail.com
Screen shots by Snagit from www.techsmith.com

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Hi Doug,

Thanks for replying. So can I put the normal.dotm file in there and it will work?

Regards,
Phil

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I've had users tell me that the macros will work a couple of times throughout a day for example and then suddenly on another document will give the error the macro's cannot be found or have been disabled. Replacing the normal.dotm with the correct file works. 

Why would the normal.dotm file keep resetting/creating a new version?

Are the people reporting this problem after restarting the computer?

.

A company I used to work for would push out a corporate standard normal.dotm . It was annoying because it wiped out all of my customizations and macros.

.

One thing the users can do to slow the problem down is set the Windows/DOS "READ ONLY" file attribute. That will typically block normal attempts to delete / recreate the file.  When something tries to overwrite the file the user will see an error message. If they want to save a macro in it, they first have to turn off the read only attribute.  I actually set up a couple of batch files to do that for me, including making backup copies.

.

Or as Doug suggested, teach your users how to save their macros elsewhere.

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I've had users tell me that the macros will work a couple of times throughout a day for example and then suddenly on another document will give the error the macro's cannot be found or have been disabled. Replacing the normal.dotm with the correct file works. 

Why would the normal.dotm file keep resetting/creating a new version?

Are the people reporting this problem after restarting the computer?

.

A company I used to work for would push out a corporate standard normal.dotm . It was annoying because it wiped out all of my customizations and macros.

.

One thing the users can do to slow the problem down is set the Windows/DOS "READ ONLY" file attribute. That will typically block normal attempts to delete / recreate the file.  When something tries to overwrite the file the user will see an error message. If they want to save a macro in it, they first have to turn off the read only attribute.  I actually set up a couple of batch files to do that for me, including making backup copies.

.

Or as Doug suggested, teach your users how to save their macros elsewhere.

No, it will be during the working day. 

The normal.dotm is a corporate one. Staff don't really save their own macro's. It's a predefined corporate one for printing a letterhead and plain copy to trays 1 and 2 in a single click. 

Regards,
Phil

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Hi Doug,

Thanks for replying. So can I put the normal.dotm file in there and it will work?

No.

What you want to do is store the macros in a separate macro-enabled template stored in the Word Startup Folder. You do not want your Normal Template in the Startup Folder.

See Organizing Your Macros by MVP Beth Melton

Volunteering to "pay forward" to return help I've received in the Microsoft user community.]


Charles Kenyon
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
wordfaq[at]addbalance[dot]com

Legal website: http://addbalance.com

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OK, so much for that theory.

.

Ask someone who is having this problem to monitor the datetime stamp on their normal.dotm. See if they notice a change in the datetime when they have the problem.

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Hi Doug,

Thanks for replying. So can I put the normal.dotm file in there and it will work?

No.

What you want to do is store the macros in a separate macro-enabled template stored in the Word Startup Folder. You do not want your Normal Template in the Startup Folder.

See Organizing Your Macros by MVP Beth Melton

Thanks Charles. I'll look into this. IF we have margins etc setup in the normal.dotm can we move those settings to the startup folder as well?

Regards,
Phil

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When you put a template in the Startup folder, you make it a "global template" (or a "Startup folder add-in") which means that its keyboard shortcuts, macros, and building blocks are available to all documents that you open in Word.

Styles, page setup or content in the global template will not be accessible to other documents, though.

Stefan Blom
Word MVP
Volunteer Moderator
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Note that MVPs do not work for Microsoft
MVP program info: https://mvp.microsoft.com/
MS Community FAQ: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/page/faq
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***

Thanks Charles. I'll look into this. IF we have margins etc setup in the normal.dotm can we move those settings to the startup folder as well?

Take a look at: Global Template

It will show you in depth what such a template can contribute to documents.

It is possible to have a global template that contribute styles by using macros.

A Global StyleSheet in Microsoft Word?

Margins, etc. are normally handled by document templates. You could do the same sort of things with macros to enable you to use a global template but it seems overkill.

It is also possible to have a global template that is used as the basis for new documents but is not the normal template. Here are samples of two methods:

Volunteering to "pay forward" to return help I've received in the Microsoft user community.]


Charles Kenyon
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
wordfaq[at]addbalance[dot]com

Legal website: http://addbalance.com

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Last updated May 26, 2020 Views 317 Applies to: