Always Starting with a Blank Document

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 18, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


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When Steven opens Word, he sees a number of choices for either creating a blank document or using various templates as a basis for a new document. He always chooses to create a blank document. He wonders of there is a way to skip this opening palette of choices and simply go to a blank document from the get-go.

The behavior that Steven describes was introduced in Word 2013 and is called the Start screen. This feature can be controlled in Word in the following manner:

  1. Display the File tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Options button. Word displays the Word Options dialog box.
  3. At the left side of the dialog box, make sure General is selected. (It should be selected by default.)
  4. Scroll down, if necessary, until you see the Start Up Options section. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The General options of the Word Options dialog box.

  6. Clear the Show Start Screen when this Application Starts check box.
  7. Click on OK.

Now, the next time you start Word, you won't be shown the Start screen. Instead, you'll see a blank document, the same as in earlier versions of Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8433) applies to Microsoft Word 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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Comments

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What is three more than 1?

2023-12-09 16:29:05

Steve Pitt

I cannot get this fix to work! HELP!! I've used this "fix" a zillion times and cannot open in blank format.


2023-11-20 09:44:51

Andrew

Gary, you can also simply type Ctrl-N (whether or not a document is open) to create a blank document based on your Normal template.

Andy.


2023-11-18 07:37:44

Gary Rees

Not sure if this is the correct forum for comments. I was absolutely overjoyed to read how you described how to get a blank document every time without the other options.

In my frustration I made a copy of the blank document and saved it in a Folder I created titled Blank Word Document. Each time I want a blank format to create a document all I do is upload the copy and create my document. Once completed I 'Save as' to where I want the document and that's all I need to do. The Blank copy remains for future use.

By the way I already receive you wonderful weekly tips.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving.


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