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Word 2003 Settings default

By eric.hurst ·
I have been having a problem with several computers that I support where the settings for Word 2003 keep resetting to the defaults. Renaming the normal.dot file did not work, as Word would not create a new copy. All computers running WinXP, sp 2.

All of the computers have the Workgroup Template location set to a network resource.

One computer was fixed by deleting the user's profile and rebuilding. I changed the Template location to be the local drive, then was able to make changes to the settings.

However, a second computer has resisted all attempts. I went so far as to uninstall Office and re-install using a different MST (which did not include the network location for the Templates). Wiped out user profile then rebooted after uninstall and before reinstall. No luck.

The time stamp on the existing normal.dot file does not ever change. I set the option to Prompt to save the normal.dot file, and it never does this. It does create the temp file (~normal.dot, or whatever the temp files are called); if I delete or rename it, Word does not create the temp file.

I tried opening the normal.dot and then saving it, and received an error about not being able to save to an open file.

Any suggestions out there?

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Good Question

by ProfTech In reply to Word 2003 Settings defaul ...

I, too, have this problem. In our network, the user's profile is computer dependent. So when a user moves from one PC to another, they loose all the cool stuff they set up that is saved in normal.dot template. In a previous network configuration, the user's normal.dot file was stored in a area the user did not have delete/write permission so they could not save the template.
Good luck in mastering this mystery.

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Things to investigate

by jcline2004 In reply to Word 2003 Settings defaul ...

Where is the Normal.dot stored? Do a search for that file name on the local drive. When we installed Office 2003, we customized all of the File Locations settings to meet our needs, and we've had situations where startup files were being opened from both Microsoft's default location and our customized location. Both Word and Excel complain mightily if a version of their startup files is already open.

Also, we found there was a conflict between Adobe Acrobat and Word, such that you could not customize toolbars and the like and have them available the next time you used the program. Although it gave no error message, it didn't save. Although the Adobe site said it was a problem with Adobe 7 (apparently even the reader), we found it to be an issue with earlier versions.

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Normal.dot location

by eric.hurst In reply to Things to investigate

Originally, the normal.dot file was saved to a network location. There was a version in the c:\documents and settings\<username>\application data\microsoft\templates, but the date stamp on this file was some time in 2005. I changed the file location back to the local copy, and the date never changed.

Word would create a temp file in this location, but when closed, the normal.dot file was not modified.

I renamed the file, and Word would then NOT create a temp file.

Hmmm, both machines that have had this problem do have Adobe Acrobat Pro 7.0 installed. I hadn't thought of that, as Acrobat has a plugin template (pdfmaker.dot). I'll give this a look, thanks.

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PDF Maker issue

by GoJints In reply to Word 2003 Settings defaul ...

Check out Microsoft Knowledge Base article 302596. While for an older version of Office, I have found it is still relevant for the current versions. I've had the problem at our office, and with clients. This helps.

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