Inconsistent Prompting to Save Normal Template Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 26, 2016)

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 doesn'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 and later versions 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, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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