Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Default Units that Change.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 13, 2017)
Martyn likes to use millimeters as his default measurement unit in Word. So, he displays the advanced settings in the Word Options dialog box and sets the default units according to his preference. The problem is, a few days later those default units can change to something else, such as points. Martyn wonders why this occurs and how he can make his preference stick.
There are a couple of things that can be tried. First, open the Normal.dot template. (Open the template directly, using the Open dialog box.) With the template open, set the default measurement unit and then save the template. Then close and restart Word. Unless you later change the Normal.dot template, the default measurement units should remain the same for all your new documents.
This brings up the second possible problem area—working with documents configured differently. It seems that the default measurement units are stored on a document-by-document basis. This means that if you have any documents configured to use a different default measurement unit or if you open a document sent to you by someone else and they don't use the same measurement unit as you, then you can find that you are all of a sudden working with different units.
The solution to this problem is to create an AutoOpen macro that sets your default measurement units. Something as simple as this could work:
Sub AutoOpen() Options.MeasurementUnit = wdMillimeters End Sub
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10669) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Default Units that Change.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
Customize Word 2010 enough, and you may at some point want to set the ribbon tabs back to their original condition. Here's ...Discover More
If you are having difficulties getting Word to insert the date exactly the way you want, it could have to do with how you set ...Discover More
The style area, displayed at the left side of your document, can be helpful in understanding how styles are used in your ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.