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Changing the Default Microsoft Word 2003 Document Template

Microsoft Word uses a default template called the Normal template which includes the default styles, toolbars, font, page layout, AutoText features and other document settings. When you open Microsoft Word it will show a blank document which is the default document or Normal template for Word. It will have these default font types and sizes as well as other settings that are specific for that document set as the defaults for when you start typing.

If you don’t like the settings that are used in the default document or are always changing the settings then you can adjust the default document so it is setup the way you like it each time you start a new Word file.

The default settings are kept in a file called Normal.dot for Office 2003 or Normal.dotm for Office 2007 and up which is located in the C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates folder (Windows XP) where username is the name of the user you log in as. For Windows Vista and 7 it should be located in C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates. To change the settings, open the Normal.dot or Normal.dotm file and then adjust the document to the way you like it. You can change the font, margins, add headers and footers and so on.

After you make the changes, save the file in the same directory as the Normal.dot file but with a different name. Make sure you have the .dot or .dotm extension on the end. Then close Word and browse to that Templates folder and delete the Normal.dot or Normal.dotm file. If you get a message that Word is still running then you can use Task Manager to kill the winword.exe process. After the original Normal.dot file is deleted rename your new file to Normal.dot and then that will be used for the default Word template when you create a new blank document. If you want to go back to the original settings simply delete your new Normal.dot file and Word will create a new one when you open the program.


 

Related Tips:
Using Windows Task Manager
Microsoft Office Templates
Microsoft Word Save As Options
Change the Default Font for New Word Documents
Changing Your Word Options

 

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