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Inconsistent Prompting to Save Normal Template Changes

Cindy sometimes doesn't get the prompt to save changes to Normal.dotm when she closes Word, even though she has saved new AutoText entries and the setting is selected to always prompt me to do so. She wonders if this is a known issue in Word.

There could be several causes for this. First, you should realize that starting with Word 2007, Microsoft made a change to the default place where AutoText entries are stored. It used to be (pre-Word 2007) that they were stored in your Normal template. However, they are now stored—by default—in the Building Blocks.dotx file. Thus, if you add an AutoText entry you won't be prompted to save the Normal.dotm file when you close Word because, quite simply, the Normal.dotm file wasn't modified.

Of course, another possibility is that the document (or documents) you are working on when you close Word don't really rely on the Normal.dotm template. Instead, the documents could have a different template attached to them, and changes to the document templates wouldn't affect Normal.dotm at all.

If you are absolutely certain that the changes you make are being stored in Normal.dotm and you still aren't being prompted as you expect, it could be that Word is confused about what you want done when it comes to prompting. Try these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down until you see the Save options. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The advanced options in the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Clear the Prompt Before Saving Normal Template check box.
  6. Click on Apply.
  7. Select the Prompt Before Saving Normal Template check box.
  8. Click on Apply.
  9. Click on OK.

There are more steps here than you might think necessary, but the idea is to clear the check box, commit the changes, select the check box, and commit the changes again. This should get rid of any confusion on the part of Word as to how you want changes to the Normal template handled.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (5979) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010.

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Comments for this tip:

Charles Kenyon    18 Dec 2015, 20:35
Beginning with Word 2010 the default storage location for AutoText returned to the normal template.
David Weintraub    06 Aug 2013, 10:51
Hi Allen,

 I cannot get my template (normal) to save once I close Word. I've reset the font/size/paragraph spacing for new docs, by updating Normal and modifying it. Any new files I open while in Word follow that style, but when I close the program, it defaults back to Calibri 11.

 Also, any time I create a macro, they work on the new files, again, until I close Word. Upon reopening the program, I get the error message “the macro cannot be found or has been disabled because of your macro security settings”. I’ve changed the settings to accept all macros.

I have renamed "normal" and opened "normal" to set my new preferences, but it always returns to the defaults.

  It may also be that Office 2013 installed itself on my computer along with 2007. I would like to keep 2007, since I train others, and I need to see that interface to create tutorials.

Thank you very much,

Dave Weintraub
Cindy Bedsaul    13 Aug 2012, 22:39
Thanks for the tip, Allen. Wanted to let you know I trouble shooted this problem on my home computer - saved over 40 autotext entries with no problem. However, when I creat only 1 or 2 entries on my office computer, I don't always get prompted to save Normal.domt. Now I don't think it's a Word 2010 problem, but rather an internal problem with our office network system or configuration. I can't seem to convince our IT Dept. this is the case. They really don't seem to think it's an important issue. I'm ready to give up!

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