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normal.dot doesn't exist

Posted on 2005-04-19
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I recently installed word 2003 on a new formatted computer, and upon a couple of uses, I've noticed that whenever I made a change to the toolbar, or changed the default settings in "page setup", the next time i start up word, those changes would be gone. Then I realized that the normal.dot is no where to be found on my computer (i've already selected to show hidden files), and the tools ->options -> file locations -> user templates is set to this directory: C:\Documents and Settings\Ken\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

but the directory is empty.

Using the Detect and Repair option in word didn't find any problems either.

I'd really like to be able to customize word to the way i like it.

Thanks for any help,
Kaki
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Question by:kdog2k2
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 13814401
Hi Kaki,
Have you tried using the Windows Explorer to find all files named normal.dot? The file certainly exists.

If you upgraded Word from a previous version, you may have some corruption in your Windows registry entries. If so, you may be able to resolve the issue by "dumping" Word's registry key.

While Word is not running, go to the Start menu and its Run command line. Type:
regedit

Hit your Enter key. Then browse to the appropriate path:

For Word 2003:
hkey_current_user\software\microsoft\office\11.0\word

Once you have found the path, right click the Word folder, hit Rename and rename it to OldWord. Hit Enter, and then exit the Registry Editor; and then relaunch Word.

Cheers!
Brad
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:WileECoyote45305
ID: 13814953
I don't want to insult you, but are you sure that Word is looking for .dot files and not .doc files? I know this was an issue in previous versions of Word - it defaulted to just .doc files, and if you were trying to find the template through File/Open, you had to manually change the file type to .dot.

This may not be your issue - you say you have Word 2003 (so do I, and now it defaults to looking for "any" Word file - .doc, .dot, etc.). But I thought I would offer it as one of those standard things to check.

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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13815111
Yep, I've already searched through my computer using the windows search (looking for *.dot, and normal.dot), and I've also looked manually, using Windows Explorer at C:\Documents and Settings\Ken\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

The directory has 0 bytes in it.

Also did as byundt said, and renamed the registry folder. The office installation window came up and completed, but normal.dot is still not being created.
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Expert Comment

by:WileECoyote45305
ID: 13815197
Are you able to save anything to that directory location? Create a simple file in Word and try to save it as a .dot file to C:\Documents and Settings\Ken\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13820310
Yep. I can save to that directory
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13843128
any ideas?
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13878289
i noticed that the templates folder actually has the "read-only" attribute "partially" selected (the checkbox has a square in it instead of a check), but every time i go into the folder properties, to uncheck the read-only attribute, apply it, and click ok out of it. nothing would be changed. the folder remains with the partial read-only status. does anyone have any ideas?
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:paraghs
ID: 13882313
The normal.dot files are stored in %appdata%/microsoft/templates.
Check the permissions on this folder.

If this does not work, delete the Templates folder, and create a new, empty folder and name it Templates.
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13883272
it appears that even if i delete it and create a new folder, the permissions would still be set at "read-only" automatically
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13883501
i find a normal.dot file in    C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates

if you do not have it, i think that you did not install the whole package of OFFICE, or WORD 2003, or you have another problem on your PC; did you select the install everything during the install?
Do you have other problems?
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Expert Comment

by:paraghs
ID: 13883748
>>it appears that even if i delete it and create a new folder, the permissions would still be set at "read-only" automatically

Check if this happens only for teplates folder, or for other new folders too.
Also check by creating a new folder at root, i.e., C:\.

I have not come across any such behaviour from an OS !!

Try it with Administrator login also.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13883883
another thought : do you have malware, or virus on your pc?  If this is possible, i suggest you run all those , preferably in safe mode :


     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
     adaware :      http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/                                                                      online scan for trojans
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                            download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english                                         check the log
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LVL 9

Expert Comment

by:paraghs
ID: 13883927
Nobus,

If Word does not find normal.dot, when it starts, it will automatically create a new normal.dot. So, there is no need of reinstalling Office.

Your second post is worth giving a try, as this "read-only" behaviour is really baffling.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13884072
Paraghs, please do not comment on others posts (and if you do read carefully ):

"If Word does not find normal.dot, when it starts, it will automatically create a new normal.dot. "  I know that, and did not say anything about it; only that i had it in the given location
"So, there is no need of reinstalling Office."  --> i did not say that either, only asked IF he had choosen the full install when he installed Office

and i will not react anymore to such posts...
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Expert Comment

by:paraghs
ID: 13884194
Sorry Nobus,
I did not mean to offend you.
My apologies.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13884320
No offense taken !
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13885542
haha play nice, guys =)

i chose custom install because there were a few office products that i did not need installed.

I created a new folder in c:\ and the same behavior appears. The read-only attribute in the properties is marked wit a green square (not a check, just a square). but i'm still able to go into that folder through windows explorer and create a file inside...

i don't believe it's a problem with malware because I freshly installed windows and office no more than 2 months ago, and it's been a persistent problem since the beginning.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 13885643
Kaki,
What happens if you take a normal.dot from another computer and store it in the proper folder? Do this while Word is not running. Are the customizations in that normal.dot recognized the next time Word launches? Does the file get deleted when Word closes?
Brad
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13889327
The settings don't get recognized, and the file doesn't get deleted when Word closes, but neither are the settings saved.

But while Word is opened, i can see that there's a temporary hidden file that's created in the templates folder next to normal.dot called "~$Normal.dot" which disappears when I close word.

Also when i insert a new toolbar item in a toolbar, and an adjacent toolbar gets shifted over. The next time i start word, the adjacent toolbar would remain in the new position, while the new toolbar item(s) would not be tehre any more.

Also the last modified date of Normal.dot does not update to the last time i opened word and made changes to the toolbar/pagesetup default settings.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 13889399
If you log onto the workstation as a different user, does Word function correctly and allow you to make changes to Normal.dot? If so, then the problem may be associated with the registry settings for the user with the problem. If not, then the problem may be associated with corruption in the Word installation.
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13915680
it doesn't function normally with logging in using another user. i'll try to reinstall office in a few days
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 13954861
it looks like reinstalling office doesn't work either. maybe the uninstallation process doesn't remove all the settings that were used for the installation the first time? but i'm not sure which files i can or cannot manually delete after the uninstallation. any other suggestions?

once again, thanks for all your help and effort
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13957422
you can always delete the Office folder under Program files

here a similar Q i found :

http://forums.computeractive.co.uk/thread.jsp?forum=12&thread=56077
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 13957431
BTW, if you search for normal.dot, do not forget to tick the "show hidden files and folders" in the explorer options first
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14046496
sorry for the delay. will try again with the installation and manually deleting office files in a few days
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14360078
I haven't abandoned the question. I don't have access to the computer with the problem at this moment. Please bear with me
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14373032
I just reinstalled office again, and followed the directions to manually delete the office folder from program files as well as other office files that a search through my system found.

I also installed CCleaner and ran that to clean up files and the registry of all office related items.

However, after reinstallation, the problem still persists, and i noticed that some settings were not reset from the previous installation, like there were items in the recent files, and it remembered the username and initials from before.

Can anyone provide me with more help?
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 14375194
did you make a word file yet, after the reinstall?
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14385121
yes
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 14385208
can you create another template in that folder?
tools>templates
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14389477
yes i can save a template file to that folder
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 14394514
and it shows, and can be used?  That is weird...afraid i'm out of ideas now
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 14770161
i haven't abandoned the question.... still waiting for a solution to this problem.....
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LVL 93

Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 800 total points
ID: 14770278
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Author Comment

by:kdog2k2
ID: 15734520
i apologize for not replying to the last expert's comments. i did not realize a comment had been posted. i was actually able to solve this problem, or rather circumvent it. THe problem was somehow related to the adobe pdfMaker toolbar that was automatically installed iwth adobe acrobat pro 7.0
the problem was solved once i disabled that toolbar from word.

thanks everyone for all your help.
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